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For Immediate Release — May 31, 2006 | HQ
Martha Deutscher: DoDEA, Public Affairs


Dr. Elizabeth Dunham

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — May 31, 2006 — Each year, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) proudly joins the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) in recognizing National Distinguished Principals of the Year for Elementary and Middle Level. The 2006 DoDEA honoree for National Distinguished Principal of the Year for Elementary and Middle Level is Dr. Elizabeth Dunham of Darmstadt Elementary School, Darmstadt, Germany.

The National Distinguished Principals Program was established in 1984 as an annual event to honor exemplary elementary and middle school principals who set the pace, character, and quality of the education children receive during their early school years. The program is jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), in corporate partnership with The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (VALIC). NAESP highlights the fundamental importance of school principals in achieving educational excellence for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students. The national recognition afforded by the National Distinguished Principal designation instills pride in principals' accomplishments and reinforces their continued leadership in helping students develop a lifelong love of learning. Dr. Dunham will contend for the National Distinguished Principal of the Year with other state and private school honorees.

"Dr. Dunham has always demonstrated educational leadership coupled with the ability to truly lead people in collaborative, supportive, endeavors by clearly identifying and defining a vision" said Frank Roehl, Assistant Superintendent of DoDEA's Heidelberg District.

Part of Dr. Dunham's winning philosophy is to use data for program improvement. "Schools are a rich source of data; the challenge, says Dr. Dunham "is to answer the question 'What data do we need to make decisions and improvements?' And then to use the data to inform instruction and guide change."

Dr. Dunham, who earned her Doctorate in Philosophy at the Cambridge Institute of Education at East Anglia University in Cambridge, England will attend award ceremonies this fall in Washington, D.C. They include special tours and activities as well as professional interaction among the honorees. The two-day celebration culminates in a formal awards banquet.

"We're very proud of Liz", said Dr. Joseph Tafoya, Director of DoDEA. "She exemplifies the best and the brightest in DoDEA elementary and middle school administration."

More about the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)

The mission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) is to lead in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle level principals and other education leaders in their commitment to all children. NAESP was founded in 1921 by a visionary group of principals who sought to advance the profession.

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