ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — March 12, 2009 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) proudly announces that, Maria Buchwald, Principal, Ramstein Middle School, is DoDEA's NASSP Principal of the Year for Middle and High School. Buchwald will now be a contender for the 2010 National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Middle School Principal of the Year.
Every year, each of the fifty states along with DoDEA and the District of Columbia submit their nominations and six finalists are chosen to compete for the National Principal of the Year. Finalists are flown to Washington D.C. to attend an annual recognition banquet. Two of the six finalists are selected by a panel of judges as National Principals of the Year. The National Principals of the Year and four finalists attend the annual NASSP Convention in Phoenix, AZ from March 12-14, 2010. Both trips are funded by NASSP and MetLife.
Buchwald was nominated for the award by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools Europe Area Director, Diana Ohman, and chosen as the top principal by a panel of judges from across DoDEA.
"Maria's collaborative leadership style and focus on data-driven decisions have made her a leader in her field. She continually strives to find innovative solutions with one goal always in mind - highest student achievement," said Dr. Shirley Miles, Director, DoDEA. "I'm very pleased to recognize her with this award."
The Principal of the Year program, sponsored by NASSP and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), began in 1993, and honors secondary school principals who have succeeded in providing a quality educational experience for their students as well as programs to enrich their students' learning experience.
To qualify, principals must demonstrate leadership, an ability to facilitate student achievement, and document their efforts to develop and maintain an environment that promotes student learning.
"I feel honored to receive this recognition," said Buchwald. "I'm fortunate to lead a group of such dedicated and talented teachers, parents, students and volunteers. It's very fulfilling to be able to help people discover the best way to apply their skills and abilities to impact student success. We all care so much about our students and their success, and I believe that dedication produces results each day."
In 2005, Buchwald was named the DoDEA Assistant Principal of Year for her work at Heidelberg Middle School.
Buchwald began her DoDEA career as a special education teacher from 1986-1992 at Livorno American High School located at Camp Darby, Italy. She left DoDEA during a military drawdown to work in the public school system in Illinois and complete her master's degree. She returned to DoDEA to work at Heidelberg High School in August, 1998.
In 1999, she began her educational leadership as assistant principal at Heidelberg Middle School, then as interim principal, Patrick Henry Elementary School in Heidelberg before being named principal of Ramstein Middle School in August of 2006.
Originally from Illinois, Buchwald earned her Bachelors of Science degree in education with special education certification in 1982 from Illinois State University. She completed her Masters of Education in Educational Administration from Western Illinois University in 1998. She is married to Robert Buchwald and has two children, Courtney, 19, who attends college in Illinois and Carey, 17, a junior at Ramstein High School.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent.
Elementary and Secondary Schools 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. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.