ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — June 11, 2007 — Dr. Thomas R.E. Waters, of Ramstein Middle School in Ramstein, Germany, has been selected as the 2007 Department of Defense Education Activity's (DoDEA's) Assistant Principal of the Year for Elementary and Middle Level.
The DoDEA Assistant Principal of the Year for Elementary and Middle Level is awarded annually to recognize exemplary elementary and middle school assistant principals who set the pace, character, and quality of the education children receive during their early school years. The award program's criteria includes examining how principals: assure all students are meaningfully engaged in active learning; connect professional development to school learning goals; use data as tools to identify barriers to success, design strategies for improvement and plan daily instruction; encourage parental involvement in the school and their child's individual learning; and participate in community service and professional activities as well as their awards and honors.
Waters began his career with DoDEA in 1998 as a teacher at Ansbach Middle and High School in Germany. In 2001 he went on to become the Assistant Principal at Ramstein High School and in 2006 he became the Assistant Principal at Ramstein Middle School. Prior to his career with DoDEA, Waters was the Director of Education at ITT Technical Institute in Burr Ridge, Ill., and a Professor of Aerospace Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He received his Bachelor of Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology, his Masters of Education from Mississippi State University, and his Doctorate Degree in Education from California Coast University.
Waters' educational philosophy is grounded in a belief that all students can learn and they learn at their own pace. Waters feels it is critical to provide a quality education to all students.
"I strongly believe in taking every opportunity to assist my school on a journey of educational expertise for our students," said Waters. "These opportunities help us to align everything we do to achieve the goals and mission of Ramstein Middle School which is to create a positive educational experience for every student with a focus on student achievement."
Maria Buchwald, Principal of Ramstein Middle School, praised Waters for his influence on students and teachers. "What sets Dr. Waters apart from other administrators is his ability to make a positive impact in the learning environment by empowering students and teachers to make wise choices."
John C. Bohannon, the 435th Air Base Wing Schools Liaison Officer echoed Buchwald's sentiments about Waters. "One key to Tom's success is his approach to dealing with others," said Bohannon. "His manner is calming and provocative simultaneously, and his sincerity engenders trust almost immediately. There is never any doubt that his primary concern is the welfare of 'his kids.'"
Waters follows last year's honoree, Mike McClain of Bechtel Elementary School, in Okinawa, Japan. DoDEA will recognize Dr. Waters for his achievements later this year.
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.