DODEA Pacific names 2013 Volunteer Excellence Award recipients

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DODEA Pacific names 2013 Volunteer Excellence Award recipients

by: Media release | .
DODEA Pacific | .
published: June 26, 2013

OKINAWA, Japan — DoDEA Pacific Senior Civilian Leader Martha Brown recently announced the selection of the 2013 DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award winners.

The awards celebrate volunteer contributions to the DoDEA mission: highest student achievement. The distinguished and enduring efforts made by the selected volunteers throughout the school year earned recognition in two categories:

  • Individual Volunteer: provided exceptional service and support to their community school(s)
  • Military Individual, Unit, or Command: provided exceptional service and support to their community school(s)

The selectees for school year 2012-2013:

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (Area-level):
Mr. Minh Tran (Okinawa District)
Vice President, Okinawa Chapter of the Society of American Military Engineers

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (District-level): 
Mrs. Brooke Miller (Guam District)
Andersen Middle School Parent Teacher Student Organization President

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award (Area-level):
U.S. Naval Hospital Guam (Guam District)

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award (District-level):
Col. Kathleen Gavle (Korea District)
Commander, U.S. Army Garrison Daegu

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award (School level):
374th Surgical Services Flight, Yokota AB (Japan District)
Nominations were made by school administrators and forwarded to the DoDEA Pacific area office for final review and selection.  Award recipients must be approved by DoDEA Pacific senior leaders after careful consideration of the nominees’ total contributions and substantive impact on their respective school communities.

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (Area-level):
Minh Tran was selected for an individual area-level DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award for his many positive contributions to Okinawa District’s elementary and secondary schools for the past two years as Vice President, Okinawa Chapter of the Society of American Military Engineers.

Tran approached the Okinawa district superintendent’s office during school year 2011-12 to gauge interest on promoting National Engineering Week through hands-on, standards-based student activities.  The partnership between the Okinawa district and SAME began with the participation of two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. In their first year of partnership, there were 16 SAME volunteers who facilitated Science, Technology, Engineering and Math activities for nearly 950 students.

In school year 2012-13, when Tran asked if there was enough interest to continue the partnership, nine schools stepped forward to participate, allowing more than 2,200 students to interact with nearly 60 STEM professionals as they worked in groups to complete a “Marshmallow Challenge.” Tran was heavily involved in increasing participation in the program, not only with the recruitment of SAME volunteers, but also in the coordination and planning of other STEM events held across the nine schools.

“Mr. Tran’s dedication to increasing STEM awareness as well as providing a positive educational experience for our students is to be commended,” said DoDEA Okinawa District Superintendent Michael Thompson. “Through Mr. Tran’s efforts, students have been able to interact with STEM professionals and experience engineering challenges as they develop 21st century skills.”

Individual Volunteer Excellence Award (District-Level): 
Brooke Miller was selected for an individual district-level DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award for her countless contributions of service and support as the Andersen Middle School Parent Teacher Student Organization President in Guam.

Through Miller’s leadership, the PTSO coordinated two school dances with assistance from the Andersen MS student council advisor and student representatives. 

Not only did the PTSO help to organize the volunteers for the dances, but it also provided the manpower for the concession stand at the dances. Under Miller’s guidance, the PTSO also sponsored a three-day book fair whereby the members provided input on book selection, designed flyers and posters, and spent hours each day of the event manning the tables and helping students with their selections.

On a regular basis, Miller set up the “Dragon Wagon,” a cart filled with school supplies and school spirit items. And on Friday afternoons, the PTSO popped popcorn in the Andersen MS atrium to raise school and student support funds.

“Mrs. Miller has been actively engaged in many positive, student-centered activities throughout the school year,” said Deborah Krull, Andersen MS principal in Guam. “Mrs. Miller always has a bright smile on her face and is always ready and willing to serve in her capacity as PTSO President.”

Military Individual, Unit, Command Excellence Award, (Area-level):
U.S. Naval Hospital Guam was selected for the DoDEA Pacific area-level Military Unit Excellence Award for providing unparalleled support to the entire Guam District by supporting health needs, providing on-site medical support for athletic events and being responsive to each school’s preventive health requirements.

In addition, Naval Hospital Guam played a major role in the development and on-going support for Guam High School’s Therapeutic Sciences Career Pathway, enabling students to benefit from exceptional, hands-on clinical training. The hospital provided substantial contributions to two Guam HS programs; Career and Technical Education and Career Practicum.

“Naval Hospital Guam provided positive contributions and support,” said Dr. Steven Bloom, DoDEA Guam District superintendent. “With great effort and coordination, Naval Hospital Guam accommodated 16 students this school year, resulting in Guam High School having the largest DoDEA Pacific group of students to take the Certified Nursing Assistant examination.”

Military Individual, Unit, Command Excellence Award, (District-level):
Col. Kathleen Gavle, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Daegu provided exceptional support to the schools in Daegu, South Korea, which helped her earn the district-level Military/Unit Commander Excellence Award.

Col. Gavle was instrumental in supporting the smooth transition of students, grades 9 to 12, from Daegu American unit school located on Camp George, to the newly constructed Daegu High School, now located on Camp Walker. As a result of her leadership and involvement, both schools received strong and consistent garrison support, and Army resources were made readily available to support the DoDEA mission.

Col. Gavle continually searched for ways to make AREA IV a better place for students traveling from Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae and Camp Carroll—distant locations that require students to travel an hour or more to school each way.

“Col. Gavle has consistently demonstrated a sincere interest in the DoDEA mission,” said Daegu HS Principal Kristopher Kwiatek. “Specifically, her involvement in School Advisory Council meetings, honor roll assemblies, National Honor Society induction ceremonies, Far East events and athletic award ceremonies, and countless after-hour school events are examples of her caring and dedication to our schools.”

Military Individual, Unit, Command Excellence Award (School-level):
374th Surgical Services Flight, Yokota AB earned this year’s school-level Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award, showing great commitment to Mendel Elementary School staff and students through their dedication to the Read and Response Program. Every day of the school year, the unit sends an individual to the school to read with students in a 3rd grade classroom. More than 15 members from the unit have been a part of the program this school year.

“The students look forward to reading and see that reading matters to more than just their parents and classroom teacher,” said Hattie Phipps, principal of Mendel ES. “Through the commitment and dedication of this flight, the students have shown improvement in their reading skills as well as their enjoyment in reading.”

The selectees for school year 2011-2012

Volunteer Excellence Award (Area-level):
U.S. Consulate, Okinawa, Japan

Volunteer Excellence Award (District-level):
Rheamia Burns, School Liaison Officer, NAF Atsugi, Japan

Volunteer Excellence Award (School-level):
Ann Yamasaki, Yokosuka MS, Japan
MASN Jeffrey Cornwell, McCool E/MS, Guam
Pete Phibbs, McCool E/MS, Guam
Bethany Thornton, Sullivans ES, Japan

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award (School-level):
Art Arao, Okinawa District, Japan
Lt. Col. Mike Taylor, MC Perry HS, Iwakuni, Japan
Lt. Joseph Cockerel, EJ King HS, Sasebo, Japan

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award (District-level):
Col. Todd Fleece, Yokota AB, Japan
Col. William Huber, Yongsan Garrison, South Korea

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award (Area-level):
Ruth Russell, School Liaison Officer, Yokosuka, Japan

Tags: Education
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