ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — April 28, 2008 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) will join schools around the country and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in recognizing the nation's teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week.
This year, Teacher Appreciation week is scheduled from May 4-10. "Great Teachers Make Great Public Schools," is the enduring theme for the week-long celebration highlighting the crucial role teachers play in making sure every child receives a quality public education.
The origins of Teacher Appreciation events date back to 1944 when Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers and show teacher appreciation. It was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who, in 1953, persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. It wasn't until 1980 that the National Education Association encouraged Congress to observe the day but that victory was short-lived since the celebration was only observed that year. In 1985 the National Parent Teacher Association established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. Since that year, teachers, administrators, parents and students have taken the time each year to thank teachers for the hard work they do each day to make public schools great for every child.
"It's my great pleasure each year to encourage participation in activities to show our teachers know how much they are appreciated," said Dr. Joe Tafoya, DoDEA Director. "Our service members and their families sacrifice much to ensure we all reap the benefits of our democracy. Our teachers make sure that a quality education is one thing military families don't have to sacrifice. I personally thank all of our teachers for their commitment and determination to do that most important thing - teach our students."
Activities and events are planned at many DoD schools to honor teachers and celebrate their contributions. Interested media are encouraged to contact school principals for details on school celebrations.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.