ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — March 27, 2009 — James Paul (Jim) Jarrard, an Education Program Specialist for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), will retire after 28 years of federal service. Twenty-six of those years were spent with DoDEA.
Jarrard began his career with DoDEA as a teacher in 1981 at Makiminato Middle School (Okinawa, Japan). Subsequent teaching assignments took him to Mannheim, Munich, and Bremerhaven, Germany.
Jarrard has found his career at DoDEA to be both challenging and rewarding. In 1987, Jarrard assisted in implementing an e-mail system for the Bremerhaven School District and became the first DoDEA employee to work towards creating an operational e-mail system in a DoDEA District.
In another first, Jarrard was the first employee to officially accept a position via e-mail in 1988 when he moved to the Atlantic Regional Office (London/Eastcote) as a Regional Educational Computing Coordinator and Regional Student Information Manager. He helped introduce computer networking in the Atlantic Regional Office and in 1992 assisted in bringing e-mail to the schools at Guantanamo Bay. Jarrard also coordinated the installation of high-speed internet connections in Korea, Germany, Panama, and DoDEA Schools in the United States.
In 1993, Jarrard was assigned to DoDEA Headquarters and managed the Director's Fund for Excellence, a four-year Congressional technology project that brought nearly $100 million in funds to DoDEA schools.
"Bart Lagomarsino (the DoDEA Deputy Director at the time) needed someone who understood technology and could work with Congressional staffers," Jarrard said. "I had some pretty nice suits at the time, having just moved from a position at the Atlantic Regional Office in Eastcote, England. The pieces just fit."
"In 1995 high-speed internet was just coming from behind DoD's ,secret' curtain and DoDEA schools were the first to benefit. Some of the ,Excellence' funds were used to transfer this military technology to civilian use. It was a real honor, and life changing event to work on that project," he said.
From 1997 to 2000, Jarrard began worked in DoDEA's Office of Communications where he helped to introduce the World Wide Web to DoDEA schools and parents. He implemented the first DoDEA websites and developed policy for all schools to use public information websites to welcome new parents and students. By the end of his tour, there were over 5,000 visitors a day to these websites.
In 2000, Jim left DoDEA and went to work for the Peace Corps to serve as a Knowledge Management Coordinator for the agency. He was instrumental in digitizing the many Peace Corps publications and distributing them worldwide to volunteers on CD-ROMs.
"We cut some significant printing and delivery costs. It was also important in getting learning materials to volunteers when they needed it, rather than waiting two months for same material to be delivered through the mail."
Jarrard was also a project manager during his time with the Peace Corps and oversaw the transfer of Peace Corps Publications onto the organization's website.
In 2002, he returned to DoDEA. For the last six years, Jarrard has worked as the Headquarters coordinator for DoDEA's Advisory Council on Education, a Congressionally mandated corporate governance committee. In this position, he worked with Senior Executives from the DoD and the Department of Education (DoE), as well as leaders from universities and private industry. Jarrard also coordinated with the DoE to ensure that DoDEA participation on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was equal with states and other jurisdictions.
Steve Schrankel, Assessment and Accountability Chief, said that Jim will be remembered for the excellent products and services that he provided.
"At national conferences, I have been approached multiple times by other state coordinators who commented on the quality of Jim's work with regard to the NAEP exam," said Dr Schrankel. "His contribution to the mission were critical and much appreciated."
Once he retires, Jarrard is looking forward to skiing and hiking with his wife, Maureen at their second home in Tahoe City, Calif.
Jim will be missed by his colleagues at Headquarters and around the globe. Congratulations and best wishes in your retirement, Jim!