Department of Defense Education Activity

Kadena Elementary School Administrator Bios

Mr. David Ballesteros-Burkett - Kadena ES Principal

During his 24 years in education, Mr. Ballesteros-Burkett has worked with children as a teacher’s aide, classroom teacher, elective’s specialist, and administrator. He was the Assistant Principal of Casey Elementary School until its closing in 2016. He was also the Assistant Principal at Daegu American School with additional duties as the Administrator of Charles Turner Joy Elementary School which closed in 2017. He was Principal of Stearley Heights Elementary School in Okinawa. He has taught elementary and middle school students in the United States, Japan, Germany, and South Korea.

An Ohio native, but an Arizona transplant, Mr. Ballesteros-Burkett earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent   State University in English and Political Science with a secondary education license, a post-baccalaureate from the University of Akron in elementary education, and a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University in Policy and Leadership.

Mr. Ballesteros-Burkett and his spouse, who also works for DoDEA, have two children. Both of their sons, Jonas and Felix, attend DoDEA schools on Kadena AB. In their free time, the Ballesteros-Burkett family enjoys traveling, movies, walking their pugs, biking, and spending time on the beach.

Mr. Ballesteros-Burkett is honored to work with the military community and to collaborate with the children, faculty, and parents in the important mission of educating, engaging, and empowering student to succeed.  Mr. Ballesteros-Burkett is excited to be a part of Kadena Elementary School, home of Sushi, the Angel Fish.

Mr. David Ballesteros-Burkett

Mr. David Ballesteros-Burkett

Kadena ES Principal


Phone: 098-961-1550/3441
Kadena ES
Unit 5166 Bldg 1991
APO , AP 96368-5166

Dr. Cheri A. Hayes - Kadena ES Assistant Principal

Dr. Cheri Hayes received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Herbert Lehman College, City University of New York in 1997. She worked in the banking industry for many years before fulfilling her lifelong dream of being an educator. Dr. Hayes attained her Master of Arts in Teaching on a full scholarship from Pathways to Teaching at Norfolk State University in 2001. In 2010, Dr. Hayes earned her Educational Specialist degree in Teacher Leadership from Walden University and her doctorate degree in Reading and Literacy at Capella University in 2019.

Dr. Cheri Hayes developed her passion for children and parent advocacy while she was employed with Norfolk Public Schools as a Parent Liaison. After completing her master’s degree, she was hired as a classroom teacher where she served in various leadership capacities. During her tenure with Norfolk Public Schools, Dr. Hayes was a fellow in the History Scholars Program in partnership with Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University. She joined the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in 2005 and was employed at Ikego Elementary School and The Sullivans Elementary School in Japan through 2009. Upon returning to the United States, Dr. Hayes rejoined Norfolk Public Schools until she secured a position with Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools in 2011. In 2014, Dr. Hayes returned to Japan to join the staff at Shirley Lanham Elementary School where she initially worked as a classroom teacher and then as the Language Arts Reading Specialist.

Dr. Hayes is very knowledgeable in curriculum, instruction and assessment, data analysis and data use across grade levels. Dr. Hayes has an expertise in literacy and is also adept at leading professional development in this area as well as other areas related to effective teaching, active student engagement, best practices in instruction as well as College and Career Readiness.  She commands knowledge of standards based instruction, lesson planning, technology integration in classroom instruction, mentoring and coaching teachers.

Dr. Hayes and her husband, Carleton have three children, Alexandra, Jordan, and Jaden.

Dr. Cheri A. Hayes

Dr. Cheri A. Hayes

Kadena ES Assistant Principal


Phone: DSN: 634-1550
Unit 5166
APO , AP 96368-5166
Japan