DoDEA Announces 2017 Elementary and Secondary Principals of the Year

by Marcelo Calero
DoDEA

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) proudly announces that Ms. Michelle Moore-Robinson of Kinser Elementary School in Japan has been selected as the 2017 DoDEA Elementary Principal of the Year and Ms. Sharon O'Donnell of Ramstein High School in Europe is the 2017 DoDEA Secondary Principal of the Year.

DoDEA’s Director, Thomas Brady praised Ms. Moore-Robinson and Ms. O’Donnell for their unwavering commitment to educating military children by creating environments where student achievement flourishes and by enhancing leadership capacity in others.

“Ms. Moore-Robinson is a dynamic principal who is a vital part of her local community,” said Mr. Brady. “Through her commitment and determination, she built a positive school culture where parents and the community feel informed and included. To engage with the parents, she has hosted teas with principal, ‘chat and chew’ lunches, and a parent university. Michelle also obtains student feedback by hosting regular Circle of Communication lunches.”

Ms. Moore-Robinson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina.

She also received her Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

Mr. Brady went on to recognize Ms. O’Donnell, who is the principal at the largest high school in DoDEA with more than 1,000 students.

“Ms. O’Donnell has created a supportive space for students, whose parents are
frequently deployed to the Middle East and Baltic regions,” said Mr. Brady. “Sharon makes sure all new teachers and students receive a sponsor to help them adjust. Her school also implemented an “Adopt a Student” mentoring program, in which teachers adopt students with academic issues and meet twice daily to assist with academic understanding and organizational skills development.”

Ms. O’Donnell earned her Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. She also has an administrative certification from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA.

The DoDEA Principal of the Year Programs recognizes outstanding school principals, who have succeeded in leading high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession. Each Region Elementary and Secondary Principal of the Year is selected by a regional panel using specified criteria to review Region Principal of the Year applications. Five principals were named either Region Elementary or Secondary Principal of the Year for 2017. Each Region Principal of the Year is invited to apply for the DoDEA Principal of the Year programs.

Along with the public recognition and the award, Ms. Moore-Robinson will compete in the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ National Distinguished Principal of the Year Program, which is designed to recognize excellence among both elementary and middle school principals. Ms. O’Donnell will compete in the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ National Principal of the Year program, which recognizes outstanding middle level and high school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.

A complete listing of this year’s recipients is listed on the next page. Additional information about DoDEA’s Principals of the Year Program, may be found on our web site.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.

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