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DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award Recipients Named

For Immediate Release — June 3, 2010 | Pacific
: DoDEA Pacific Director's Office | DSN: 644-5657

OKINAWA, JAPAN — June 3, 2010 — DoDEA Pacific Director Diana Ohman announced today the selection of the 2010 DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award winners.

The awards celebrate volunteer contributions made throughout the school year and provide recognition in two categories: individual volunteers that gave countless hours of dedicated service and the military individuals, units or commands that provided exceptional support to the DoDEA mission: highest student achievement.

Only one area-wide award is given in the individual volunteer category and three area-wide awards in the military individuals, units or commands category.

The awardees for school year 2009-2010 are:

Volunteer Excellence Award, Area-Level:
Ms. Kimberly Funk, Andersen Elementary School, Guam

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award, School-level:
Mr. Akinori Hayashi, Okinawa, Japan

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award, District-level:
Commander Fleet Activities, Chinhae Naval Station, William A. Weedon, Republic of Korea

Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award, Area-level:
The Crew of the USS George Washington, Yokosuka, Japan

Nominations are made by each of the DoDEA Pacific school districts and forwarded to the DoDEA Pacific Area Office for final review and selection.  Award recipients must be approved by the director after careful consideration of their total contributions and enduring impact on their respective school communities.

Ms. Kimberly Funk is the sole recipient of the DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award in the individual category. She was nominated by the Guam District for her selfless dedication and countless hours supporting the Anderson ES information center in general and the Reading Counts program in particular. Her cheerful attitude and additional volunteer work supporting classrooms, field trips, performances and special occasions helped her clinch top honors in the category.

Akinori Hayashi, the school-level recipient for Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award, was nominated by the Okinawa District for his work coordinating the Okinawan-American Shootout High School Basketball Tournament and Okinawan-American Friendship Youth Baseball Tournament. Both are annual events that bring hundreds of American and Japanese students together in the spirit of competition to strengthen friendships and cultural understanding.
Mr. Hayashi is currently serving with the American Consulate General in Naha, Okinawa.

Commander Fleet Activities, Chinhae Naval Station, William A. Weedon earned the endorsement of the Korea District for his comprehensive support of C.T. Joy Elementary School. Commander Weedon received the district-level Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award for his continual involvement at the school including frequent visits to greet students by name, regular readings to students in the multi-age classrooms, and for his involvement with parent and school improvement committees.

The crew of the USS George Washington earned the area-level Military Unit/Commander Excellence Award for their formal adoption and ongoing mentorship of the Sullivans School at Combined Fleet Activities in Yokosuka, Japan. The sailors volunteered daily to read, tutor, coach, and just spend time with students. Additionally, many of the USS George Washington crew volunteered to participate in a “Flat George Project” whereby they took a cardboard cutout character with them to sea and sent back pictures and stories from their duties, travels and adventures to students at the Sullivans School.

“Volunteers are quiet heroes that just get things done—they are the reason the school play goes off without a hitch, that students and their families feel so welcome and engaged, and a key reason why our teachers and administrators can stay so focused on student achievement.” said Ohman, “School volunteers deserve our fullest appreciation for all they do and the Volunteer Excellence Awards provide a meaningful way to give them their well-earned recognition.”

About DoDEA Pacific:
DoDEA Pacific provides a comprehensive preK-12 education to the children of military and eligible civilian personnel families serving throughout Asia.  The 47 schools in DoDEA Pacific are comprised of approximately 24,000 students and 4,200 professional educators and support staff.  The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Korea, and Okinawa.

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Unit 35007
APO, AP 96376
DSN: 315-644-5657
From the States: 011-81-6117-44-5657

The initiates and manages DoDEA's communications and outreach efforts for the Pacific to include Guam, Japan, Okinawa, South Korea. The office is responsible for media relations, internal information programs and communication with students, parents, teachers, school administrators and the public.