Department of Defense Education Activity

DoDEA Pacific East announces administrator selections for 2020-21 school year

YOKOTA — July 17, 2020 — DoDEA Pacific East announces principal selections for Iwakuni Elementary School, Yokota Middle School, Yokota West Elementary School, and Joan K. Mendel Elementary School.


Principal, Iwakuni Elementary School

Ms. Latressa (Renée) Cobb
Principal, Iwakuni Elementary School

Dr. Judith J. Allen, DoDEA Pacific East District Superintendent, is pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Latressa T. (Renée) Cobb as principal of Iwakuni Elementary School, located at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Japan.

A native of Kinston and Jacksonville, North Carolina, Ms. Cobb began her adventure into education as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow at North Carolina Central University. Ms. Cobb holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education – Mathematics, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Technology, a Master of Education in Educational Administration, and a Master of Education in Special Education.

Relocating to Japan in 2011 to support her husband’s career in the United States Navy, Ms. Cobb joined DoDEA as a local hire mathematics educator at Yokosuka Middle School in Yokosuka, Japan.  While in this role, Ms. Cobb served as mathematics department chair, team leader, and Continuous School Improvement (CSI) Co-Chair.  After leading technology professional development and policies at Yokosuka Middle School, Ms. Cobb was selected as the educational technologist for 
Yokosuka Middle School in 2014.  In 2017, Ms. Cobb transferred to Matthew C. Perry High School, located at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Japan, as an educational technologist. Shortly after her arrival, she was promoted to assistant principal.

While at Matthew C. Perry High School, Ms. Cobb has been recognized for improving student and teachers’ performance by monitoring and implementing instructional programs, spearheading professional development activities, and engaging in active two-way communication with all stakeholders, promoting effective collaboration. Ms. Cobb has fostered the blending of innovative and traditional teaching methods to provide a solid foundation for active learning and teaching that is based on intentional decision-making rooted in data.

Ms. Cobb is the proud spouse of retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, Samuel (Mike) Cobb. Their daughter, Taylor, a DoDEA graduate, is currently serving on active duty in the United States Air Force as an Operations Intelligence Specialist. Their son, Jalen, is a rising high school sophomore. Having been a military spouse, raising military-connected children and now as the mother of an active duty service member, Ms. Cobb has first-hand experience of the unique hardships and amazing rewards of being a part of the military community. Ms. Cobb is excited for the opportunity to continue to serve the wonderful Iwakuni community in a new capacity while continuing to cultivate strong relationships with all stakeholders.


Principal, Yokota Middle School

Dr. Rebecca S. Villagomez
Principal, Yokota Middle School

Dr. Judith J. Allen, DoDEA Pacific East District Superintendent, is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Rebecca S. Villagomez as principal of Yokota Middle School, located at Yokota Air Base, Fussa, Japan.

Dr. Villagomez obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and was named valedictorian of her graduating class of 2005 from the University of Guam. In 2007, she received a Master of Education degree in administration and supervision from the University of Guam. In 2017, she was awarded a Doctor of Education degree in teaching and learning, with a mixed concentration in instructional assessment and professional development, from Argosy University, Hawaii.

Dr. Villagomez's professional experience includes roles at the elementary and secondary level as a teacher, curriculum coordinator, instructional coach, and school administrator. She was one of the teacher leaders to help create district standardsbased assessments and curriculum documents, which include curriculum alignment, maps, guides, and sample lesson plans, for the Guam Department of Education (GDOE). She was also a DoDEA educator in Japan, where she was selected to be the Teacher Literacy Leader and served as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team. As a curriculum coordinator and an assistant principal, she worked with the school’s leadership team to help revise and monitor the school’s improvement plan and assisted with the school and district-level professional development. Her most recent role was as an assistant principal at Robert D. Edgren Middle/High School at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Her educational experiences allowed her to professionally grow with each of the eight different schools she served.

Dr. Villagomez considers her parents and husband to be the most influential people in her career. She values family time with her husband and two children. She feels blessed, honored, and thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to work for DoDEA in the Pacific East District and work alongside the faculty, staff, students, parents, and community at Yokota Middle School as the principal.


Principal, Yokota West Elementary School

Ms. Katrina Watts
Principal, Yokota West Elementary School

Dr. Judith J. Allen, DoDEA Pacific East District Superintendent, is pleased to announce the selection of Mrs. Katrina Watts as the Principal at Yokota West Elementary School located at Yokota Air Base, Fussa, Japan.

One of her favorite quotes from Katharine Graham, “To love what you do and feel that it matters, how could anything be more fun!” - truly explains how humbled and excited I am about this opportunity! I believe that student success should be at the heart of every decision we make concerning their education.

Mrs. Watts’ career began as a Science teacher at Paul D. West Middle School, in the Fulton County School System in Atlanta, Georgia. She also taught in the Houston County School System at Thompson Middle School in Warner Robins, Georgia where she was an Honors Science Teacher and worked on the K-12 Science Curriculum Writing Team and Science Fair committee. During her tenure in public school, Mrs. Watts has served as Grade Level Chair, CSI Team Member, Better Seeking Team Member, and Lead Gifted Teacher.

Mrs. Watts transitioned from public school to DoDEA as a Science teacher, CSI team Chair, AVID Coordinator/teacher, AdvancEd team member, and Athletic Director at Scott Middle School in Ft. Knox, Kentucky. She comes to the Pacific East District from Santa Rita, Guam where she taught Science, STEM, and Research as well as served as CSI Chair at CDR. William C. McCool Elementary/Middle School. Most Recently, Mrs. Watts served the Yokosuka Complex faculty, staff, parents and student body as Assistant Principal of Yokosuka Middle School.

Mrs. Watts obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Grades Education from Albany State University. She received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction as well as her Specialist’s Degree in Educational Administration from Central Michigan University.

Mrs. Watts and her husband Charles are the proud parents of four children and four grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.


Principal, Joan K. Mendel Elementary School

Ms. Christina Young
Principal, Joan K. Mendel Elementary School

Dr. Judith J. Allen, DoDEA Pacific East District Superintendent, is pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Christina Young as the Principal at Joan K. Mendel Elementary School located at Yokota Air Base, Fussa, Japan.

As Principal, Joan K. Mendel Elementary School, Ms. Young will dedicate herself to creating partnerships with all stakeholders, ensuring that all students receive excellent instruction, every day, promoting DoDEA’s vision, purpose, and goals. Ms. Young is very excited to meet and get to know the students, families, staff, and community members who are a part of the Joan K. Mendel Elementary School family.

Ms. Young is a strong proponent of building relationships with all stakeholders, listening to concerns, and being available and visible to the community. “I look forward to building strong teams to help move Joan K. Mendel Elementary School forward to solidifying itself as a strong, student-centered, successful school.” Ms. Young is also
a strong instructional leader, modeling and working with staff on best practices, especially in the area of 21st Century Teaching and Learning.

Ms. Young brings to Joan K. Mendel Elementary School twelve years of service in the U.S. Air Force and twenty years of education experience, ten of which have been in DoDEA. Born in Germany to an Army Chaplain’s Assistant, Ms. Young spent most of her childhood in California where she started her teaching career. She has taught all grades, first through eighth, eventually moving to Arizona where she was a classroom teacher, a gifted education teacher, and an educational technologist. She joined DoDEA as an educational technologist in Spangdahlem, Germany before moving down to Ramstein, Germany. In 2015, she was promoted to Assistant Principal for Zukeran Elementary School in Okinawa and then promoted to Principal in 2018 for Yokota West Elementary School, Japan.

Ms. Young earned her associates degree with Community College of the Air Force, her bachelor degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and her two master degrees from Grand Canyon University.

Ms. Young is proud to be the mother of two, Ashli and Joshua, and the grandmother of three boys, all of whom live in Arizona. In her free time she loves to read, do cross-stitch, and sing.


About DoDEA

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 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 United States that serve children of military families.