ARLINGTON, VA — January 11, 2010 — Doug Kelsey will retire on January 18, 2010 after serving almost 25 years with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).
During his career, Kelsey served at many levels throughout DoDEA, beginning as a mathematics teacher at Nuernburg High School in Germany and ending by serving at DoDEA Headquarters in the Educational Partnership Branch.
“Doug Kelsey is the consummate educator who brings great intellect and understanding to curriculum, instruction, and assessment,” said Charlie Toth, Deputy Director for DoDEA. “His record of critical analysis, strategic planning and execution and his ability to manage and motivate people has made a significant impact in DoDEA’s educational programming and in the lives of the children attending DoDEA’s schools.”
“We will miss the daily interaction we had with his pleasant and professional personality and the knowledge, experience, and skill he brought to DoDEA every day for the past 25 years,” Toth said.
After teaching several years in public schools in the U.S., Kelsey taught overseas in international schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Tokyo, Japan, for eight years. It was while he was in Japan that he learned about the DoDEA system and applied for a position.
“After four months as a mathematics teacher at Nuernberg High School during my initial year with DoDDS-Germany, I was selected to be an Assistant Principal at that school,” Kelsey said.
After that, he was selected to be the Principal of Fulda High School, Hanau High School, and then Ramstein High School.
The Kelsey family moved frequently as Doug accepted new and more challenging assignments.
“They’ve made a lot of personal sacrifices,” said Kelsey. “I will always be grateful to my wife and three daughters for their flexibility and loyalty during my career.”
Kelsey said the transitions his family made helped him have a better understanding of the transitions military families have to make. He stated, “I had daughters graduate from Fulda High School, Ramstein High School, and Aviano High School. My oldest daughter attended schools in six locations in five countries, while my youngest daughter attended schools in nine different communities in six countries.”
His first above-school level administrative assignment was the position of Assistant Superintendent, DoDDS-Italy, during school year 1995-1996. Mr. Kelsey served next as the Superintendent of Schools, DoDDS-Korea, from August 1996 through September 2000 and then as the Superintendent of Schools, DoDDS-Okinawa, from October 2000 through May 2002.
Mr. Kelsey was selected as the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) Deputy Director for Education in Peachtree City, Georgia from May 2002-September 2003. From October 2003 through September 2007, Mr. Kelsey served as the Deputy Director, DDESS.
His final assignment with DoDEA was at the Headquarters level with the Educational Partnership Branch whose mission is to reach out to the public schools in the U.S. serving children of military families.
But even while he served at Headquarters, Mr. Kelsey answered the call to provide leadership in DoDEA’s overseas schools again. He was the Interim Superintendent of the DoDDS-Korea schools for eleven months during school year 2008-2009.
“Of the many assignments I held, I always thought the one I had was the best assignment anyone could have.”
“Teachers are the most important asset in the DoDEA system,” Kelsey said. “As an administrator, principal, superintendent, and Deputy Director, I did have influence, but a teacher in the classroom is where the real education takes place.”
Kelsey said he will miss the people he’s worked with and for, but that it’s the kids that he will miss the most.
“The number one positive thing about working for DoDEA these past twenty-four years is the quality of students, the involved parents, and the supportive Commanders I have had the pleasure to serve,” Kelsey said.
“The students, especially, have been the most influential factor in making my career both rewarding and successful,” Kelsey added. “The downside of moving up the educational administrative chain is that is places you further and further away from daily interaction with students and teachers.”
Mr. Kelsey received a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, in June of 1973. A Bachelor of Science in Mathematics was awarded to him in May 1968 from Baker University located at Baldwin City, Kansas.
After completing the two degrees in mathematics, he focused his post-graduate studies in the field of educational administration. He has completed more that 120 hours of graduate work in education with the majority of these hours from Kansas State University, Boston University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Maryland.
During his overseas assignments in Japan, Okinawa, and Germany, Mr. Kelsey taught more than forty sections of mathematics for the University of Maryland, both in their Asian and European Divisions. While at Ramstein Air Base, Mr. Kelsey was an adjunct faculty member for National-Louis University’s Masters Degree program in education.
As Mr. Kelsey says farewell to DoDEA, he won’t be slipping quietly into retirement.
“I will go to work in Hawaii for the Army two days after I retire from DoDEA,” said Kelsey.
Kelsey will be working K-12 educational matters for United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) throughout the Pacific Theater. His DoDEA experiences and raising his own children in an environment of constant transition will serve him well as he continues to serve military children in his new position.
It’s been a great privilege to have you on the team, Doug. Best wishes and congratulations on your retirement!