Department of Defense Education Activity

Mission Champion

For 75 years, the people of our organization have contributed significantly to the readiness of our military forces and improving the quality of life for military families around the globe. There are countless champions who have built, contributed to, or supported that mission and its history. Mission Champions helps to bring alive the stories of just a few of those champions whose individual actions advanced the team work and momentum needed to provide quality educational services to the children who attend our schools, and their families, who sacrifice so much to serve our country. Each of these champions represent and preserve a legacy built by thousands of educators and support personnel committed to advancing the DoDEA mission.

Era 1
1946-1975

Cover Page

Cover Page

Each of these champions represent and preserve a legacy built by thousands of educators and support personnel committed to advancing the DoDEA mission.

The Recruiters

The Recruiters

The recruiters had to work fast and traversed the United States in search of experienced educators who had “a pioneer spirit” and could work in bombed-out buildings or tents and with few books and supplies to begin with.

The First Teachers

The First Teachers

Between August and October that first year teachers arrived from the States, all of whom had been carefully selected by Mr. Richard Meyering and WAC Major Mary S. Bell.

Mildred Poole

Mildred Poole

Mildred B. Poole was the first chief administrator and principal of the Fort Bragg School System, from 1948 to 1953.

Doris Baker

Doris Baker

Doris C. Baker, a teacher and principal of the U.S. Army Elementary and Junior High School on Flint Kaserne in Bad Toelz, Germany, is a wonderful example of one hero.

Thomas Drysdale

Thomas Drysdale

Dr. Drysdale recognized the need for an organization to preserve the history of the Department of Defense (DoD) overseas schools’ history and maintain their legacies for future generations to come.

Virgil Rogers

Virgil Rogers

Rogers was part of a team of educators selected to assist with the reorganization of the German school system after World War II and was a group leader in the White House Conference on Children and Youth in 1950.

Ole Olson

Ole Olson

Since his first day as a newly recruited teacher in 1957 at Izmir High School (Turkey), Dr. Allen Dale “Ole” Olson has been a powerful voice in preserving the history and telling the story of the Dependents Schools.

Doc Mason

Doc Mason

Doc’s guiding philosophy was to encourage each school to develop its own personality and for school administrators to “nourish creativity in their teaching staffs."

Gay Long

Gay Long

Gay Long became the Art Coordinator for the Air Force Schools in Germany when they first got started.

Major Virgil Walker

Major Virgil Walker

Major Walker was instructed to “establish standards as high as those of the best schools in the United States."

Alexander (Al) Kyrios

Alexander (Al) Kyrios

A teacher and leader, fondly remembered by all of his students, Al Kyrios was an enthusiastic educator, a mentor, and a professional educator.

Era 2
1976-1994

Dr. Arlyn Gordon Sweeney

Dr. Arlyn Gordon Sweeney

A lifelong educator, instructional leader, and champion for students.

Dr. Georgia Mae Williams-Scaife

Dr. Georgia Mae Williams-Scaife

A Lifelong educator, instructional leader, and champion for students.

Dr. Joseph Blackstead

Dr. Joseph Blackstead

A dedicated and innovative educator admired for his warmth, sense of humor, and dignity.

Minority Studies Program of the 1970s

Minority Studies Program of the 1970s

In September 1972, Dr. Mason, USDESEA Director, designated minority studies as the number one priority for the school system as the _1972-73 school year began.

The Study of Teaching Program & Trainers

The Study of Teaching Program & Trainers

In 1989, the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) directed the implementation of the Study of Teaching (TST), a commercial staff-development program for administrators. DoDDS selected TST as the first systemwide staff development program for b