Department of Defense Education Activity

Dr. Finney Selected as Southeast District Chief of Staff for DoDEA Americas

For Immediate Release — January 29, 2018 | Americas

Dr. Justin Finney

Dr. Justin Finney, Southeast District Chief of Staff

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA — January 29, 2018 — Dr. Christy Huddleston, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Americas Southeast District Superintendent, has selected Dr. Justin Finney as the Southeast District Chief of Staff for DoDEA Americas starting February 5, 2018.

“Dr. Finney brings a wealth of leadership experience to the Americas Southeast District,” said Dr. Huddleston. “His experience as a leader in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th education and in the military makes him a perfect selection for district chief of staff.”  

Dr. Finney has been an elementary school principal; middle school assistant principal; university instructor and program coordinator; middle school teacher and coach; and a member of U.S. Army Special Operations. He started his educational career as a 7th grade social studies and reading teacher at Rothschild Middle School in Muscogee County, Georgia in 2001. Dr. Finney was selected as the Muscogee County School District’s New Teacher of the Year in 2002. While at Rothschild Middle School, he helped coach the boys and girls track and field teams to four consecutive city championships. In 2004, he was named the Social Studies Education Program Coordinator at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, where he taught and advised undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Education. Following his assignment at Columbus State University, he was named assistant principal at Harris County Carver Middle School in Harris County, Georgia, where he served until 2010 then became the principal at Mulberry Creek Elementary.

During his tenure at Mulberry Creek Elementary, the school was named a Georgia Platinum School for outstanding academic growth and student achievement by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. Dr. Finney concurrently served as a part-time instructor on the graduate faculty of Columbus State University, where he develops and teaches online courses for students pursuing graduate degrees in education.

Dr. Finney served in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1999. His first assignment was with the 3/325 Airborne Battalion Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy, which included a deployment to Iraq. He ended his military career as a non-commissioned officer in 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1999. He directly attributes his success in education to the skills that were instilled in him during his time in the military and as a non-commissioned officer. He also received the Master Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, and the Ranger Tab during Ranger Class 9-93, of which he was selected as the Distinguished Leadership Graduate. 

In 2011, he received a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Leadership and his Masters and Educational Specialist degrees in Social Science Education and Educational Leadership both from Columbus State University.

Dr. Finney has been married to his wife Terri for 23 years. They are the proud parents of their son Michael, daughter-in-law Megan, and daughter Madison as well as proud grandparents of Connor and Raegan.

He replaces Mr. Glenn Hughes, who retired in December as the chief of staff.

“I am honored to have been selected as the Southeast District Chief of Staff and excited to serve military families and the DoDEA schools,” stated Dr. Finney. 

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.