CAPT Chuck Vaughan presents a Certificate of Appreciation and MOAA Challenge Coin to Crystle Nehrmeyer, superintendent of the Oracle Elementary School District.

LT William Myers, CEC USN Former

The Catalina Mountains Satellite Chapter (CMSC) of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) held its most recent meeting on Saturday, May 21, at SaddleBrooke Ranch. The meeting began with a business session presided over by CAPT Chuck Vaughan, President, during which members were updated on the chapter’s current activities.

CAPT Vaughan advised that a large majority of the members responding to the recent email survey were in favor of becoming our own chapter instead of continuing to be a satellite of the Tucson Chapter. Thus, chapter leadership is proceeding to make this a reality. The hope is the President of MOAA, LT GEN Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret), will be able to present a new chapter charter to the membership this coming November or December.

The afternoon’s speaker was Crystle Nehrmeyer, superintendent of the Oracle Elementary School District. She spoke briefly about the more than 100-year history of the school district, which was founded in 1905 and covers an area of more than 300 square miles. She noted the Mt. Vista K-8 School accommodates kindergarten through 8th grade, and the school district provides very effective preschool and kindergarten programs, as well. Although kindergarten is only partially funded in Arizona, the Oracle Elementary School District chooses to provide, without charge, full-day kindergarten.

From the Oracle Elementary School, students can elect to go to either the Canyon del Oro High School in the Amphitheater School District or San Manuel High School in the San Manuel School District. The Oracle Elementary School District provides the transportation and tuition for its students to attend either high school.

Ms. Nehrmeyer discussed in detail the Oracle Elementary School District’s emphasis on early childhood education by offering a tuition-free preschool program. Preschool is not funded in Arizona. School districts that do provide quality preschool programs, like the Oracle School District, must find funding for this program. The United Way and the Oracle Schools Foundation provide this funding to the Oracle Elementary School District. Ms. Nehrmeyer also explained there is a vast difference between a childcare program and a preschool program.

The next, regular CMSC meeting will be held this coming fall on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 11:30 a.m. at a location to be announced.

The Catalina Mountains Satellite Chapter is part of the Tucson Chapter of MOAA, and encompasses Northwest Tucson, including Catalina, Oracle, parts of Oro Valley and Marana, SaddleBrooke, SaddleBrooke Ranch, and Sun City. For additional information, please visit our website at

The Military Officers Association of America is a nonprofit veterans association dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and preserving the earned entitlements of members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors.