BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — 17 Bay District Schools have earned a prestigious distinction from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

They’ve each been honored with a Purple Star of Distinction, an award given to schools that go above and beyond to assist military families.

The Purple Star was created in 2021, this is the first time BDS participated in the program.

District officials said one key tool they use to help military families is providing the most information to parents possible and reserving space in schools for those students.

Superintendent Mark McQueen recognized all 17 principals today, alongside military officials from Tyndall Air Force Base and the Navy Base.

“To see this distinction being granted to the Bay District Schools system, to be able to reach out to those families and say, we know what you’re going through and we’re going to help you through this transition time to assure your children’s success is so important to me, both personally and professionally,” McQueen said.

Below is a list of all the schools recognized.

● A. Crawford Mosley High School
● Bay High School
● Breakfast Point Academy
● Deer Point Elementary School
● Hiland Park Elementary School
● Hutchison Beach Elementary School
● J. R. Arnold High School
● Lynn Haven Elementary School
● Northside Elementary School
● Oscar Patterson Academy
● Patronis Elementary School
● Rutherford High School
● Southport Elementary School
● Surfside Middle School
● Tommy Smith Elementary School
● Tyndall Academy
● Waller Elementary School