Ms. Hayes is no stranger to the role of a Community Superintendent since she has served for the past four years as Community Superintendent in DoDEA Europe East at the Grafenwoehr Field Office.
Melissa Hayes’ career began as an early childhood teacher in 1981. She taught first grade and kindergarten for nine years in the Chambers County, AL School system before moving to Lanett, AL. Ms. Hayes taught third grade, first grade, and kindergarten during her nine year tenure in Lanett City Schools. Lanett City Schools named Ms. Hayes Teacher of the Year for 1997.
In 1997, Ms. Hayes was selected to attend the Georgia State University’s Reading Recovery training program. She graduated from that program in 1998 and became a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader for DeKalb County Schools, GA. While in DeKalb County, Ms. Hayes trained Reading Recovery Teachers, provided professional development, and worked with the District Superintendent’s office in providing Balanced Literacy training to teachers in 26 elementary schools. Ms. Hayes was a speaker for regional and national Reading Recovery conferences in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.
Ms. Hayes joined the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) in June, 2000 as an Instructional Systems Specialist for Reading Recovery. Her work involved teaching students, training teachers, and providing on-going professional development for educators. While at Fort Benning, Ms. Hayes facilitated numerous workshops for teachers in the areas of balanced literacy, writing, teaching reading in the content areas, and teaching struggling readers. Ms. Hayes developed, organized, and implemented Fort Benning’s Parent Academy as well as very successful summer reading camps for students. Ms. Hayes was awarded the General’s Award for Excellent Service to the Fort Benning Community.
Ms. Hayes became principal of Dexter Elementary School (Fort Benning, GA) in 2005. While principal, the school received the Partnership of the Year Award from the Muscogee County Partners in Education program. The school also received an International Reading Association award for having the best reading program for the state of Georgia.
2006, Ms. Hayes became principal of Maxwell AFB Elementary School in Montgomery, AL. Since Maxwell AFB Elementary was her first school to attend as a child (her dad was a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam), Ms. Hayes felt particularly honored to be selected as principal. While principal at Maxwell, the school received numerous honors and awards. Students participated in Sports Stacking events and Lego Robotics. The robotics team won regional titles in 2010 and 2011 which allowed them to compete in the state First Lego League Competition. During the 2008-2009 School Year, Ms. Hayes was principal at two schools in the GA/AL DDESS District – Maxwell Elementary and Robins AFB Elementary in Warner Robins, GA. 2010, Ms. Hayes was tasked with implementing a middle school, which made Maxwell a DoDEA Unit School with grades PreK-8th.
In 2012, Ms. Hayes was named as principal of Aviano Elementary School in Aviano, Italy. Under her leadership, Aviano Elementary School fully embraced the merging of Continuous School Improvement with College Career Readiness Standards. Through professional development Ms. Hayes built capacity within the organization and assisted teachers in becoming facilitators in adult learning. The STEM program at Aviano Elementary was enhanced by developing a program and the space which students with hands-on science opportunities. Technology has been infused by teaching coding to all grade levels and student participation in robotics. The Lego Robotics team from Aviano Elementary placed second in the European competition.
She is excited to begin a new chapter in her career as Community Superintendent for DoDEA Europe West in Belgium.
Ms. Hayes grew up in Alabama and is a proud graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood. She graduated from Troy University in 1987 with a Master’s of Science Degree in Early Childhood and again in 1999 with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.
Mr. Thomas M. Brady
HQ DoDEA Director
Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, Ed.D
HQ Chief Academic Officer
Mr. Robert M. Brady
HQ Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Jay Burcham
HQ Chief of Staff