It is our pleasure to welcome you to the official Shirley Lanham Elementary School website. Our goal is to provide current and relevant information about our school to the military families we serve today and those we look forward to welcoming to our campus in the future. Located in the heart of the Kanto Plains, Shirley Lanham Elementary School is a Department of Defense Education Agency ( DoDEA ) school positioned in the center of Naval Air Station Atsugi near Tokyo, Japan.
Although called NAF Atsugi ( NAFA ) we are not actually in the Atsugi-shi limits but are a part of Ayase-shi in the Kanagawa-ken or prefecture. Lanham Elementary School's centralized location makes it easy to access several major transportation centers such as airports, highways, railways and bus lines. It is also close to other major military installations including Camp Zama Army Base, Yokota U.S. Air Force Base and Yokosuka U.S. Navy Base.
DoDEA Mission Statement: We provide an Exemplary Education that Inspires and Prepares All DoDEA Students for Success in a Dynamic, Global Environment.
Who We Serve
Shirley Lanham Elementary School provides services to the military dependent children of the men and women stationed at Naval Air Facility Atsugi and Marine Base Camp Fuji. It also hosts dependent children of Department of Defense civilian employees as well as children of foreign nationals. Currently, our enrollment stands at about 530 kindergarten through sixth-grade students. Dependent children in grades seven through twelve are bused to Camp Zama Army Base to attend either Zama American Middle School or Zama High School. John O. Arnn Elementary School, located on the Sagamihara Housing Area (SHA), services the children of families stationed at Camp Zama Army Base.
You can find out about other DODEA elementary through high schools in Japan by visiting the DoDEA Pacific District schools page.
At Shirley Lanham Elementary School, we are proud to have been fully re-accredited during the 2011-2012 academic year. It is our pleasure to serve you and your children in any way that we can. If you are planning to PCS to NAF Atsugi, we invite you to explore information and resources on this website that will help you and your children with a smooth transition. Feel free to contact us via e-mail or phone if we can answer any questions regarding the services and programs we offer. We are ready to help in any way that we can and look forward to seeing you soon!
Shirley Marie Vance was born September 21, 1914 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Her father, George, owned a shoe store and her mother, Marie, was an artist who painted, played the piano and was an accomplished clothing designer.
Shirley attended the University of Southern California and in 1940 she married Harvey P. Lanham, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a career naval officer and pilot.
Shirley and Harvey were devoted to each other, to their family, and to the Navy. They moved 18 times in their 29-years of service; but they felt their lives were truly enriched from living in Japan and having the opportunity to make friends with many Japanese people.
Shirley was a petite woman, standing 5'1", with green eyes and brown hair. Although small in stature, she was a very positive person with lots of energy and enthusiasm. In the 1960's Harvey Lanham was a Rear Admiral; and the family lived on NAF Atsugi. During this time, all children of military families were bused to Camp Zama and the Sagamihara Housing Area (SHA) to attend school. Shirley devoted her time to working to ensure a school for Atsugi children was built on this base.
Shirley was an extraordinary person who enjoyed helping others and happily served in her community. In the fall of 1969, shortly before the school opened its doors to it's first students, Shirley Lanham died unexpectedly of a heart attack and was never able to see the school that bears her name.