For Immediate Release — March 1, 2021 | Pacific
PACIFIC REGION — March 1, 2021 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Pacific region is pleased to announce Mr. James Strait, principal of Kubasaki High School School in Okinawa, Japan, as the 2021 DoDEA Pacific Principal of the Year.
“Mr. Strait is a gifted school leader who has contributed greatly to the excellence of education at Kubasaki High School,” said Ms. Lois Rapp, DoDEA Pacific Region Director of Student Excellence. “As principal, he has built strong relationships with the military community that have positively impacted students, families, and staff.”
Strait has 16 years of experience serving as a school principal and has been the instructional leader at Kubasaki High School since October 2019.
“Mr. Strait brought in a new leadership team, a new energy, and the whole WESTPAC team… to improve the appearance of Kubasaki,” said Brigadier General William J. Bowers, Commanding General for Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “Marines from the MEF and Single Marine Program are volunteering to help out, he started a monthly luncheon with us where he invites our leadership to address his faculty, and there’s involvement across the whole community. Students are taking pride in Kubasaki, and it is great to see.”
Strait, an Army veteran with 22 years of military service, said it is a privilege to work with military-connected students and their families.
"It has been an honor to become part of Kubasaki School and the community,” Strait said. “I am proud of how hard working our team is and that we are always making choices in the best interest of our students. The faculty and staff have been monumental in their dedication and team work to make Kubasaki the best it can be. Our installation, District, and Region support make everything we do possible. My wife and I love being part of DoDEA Pacific."
Strait holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University and a master’s degree in Education Administration from Capella University. A lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctorate.
“The impact that a school like Kubasaki has can’t be understated,” said Lieutenant General H. Stacy Clardy, Commanding General for III Marine Expeditionary Force and Commander for Marine Forces Japan, addressing Strait during his award presentation. “Your leadership has made a difference, not just with the students, but across the MEF.”
The DoDEA Principal of the Year Program recognizes outstanding school principals, one in each region, who have succeeded in leading high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession. The process begins at the local level, where principals are nominated by peers, employees, parents, students or community members.
One of the Regional awardees will be selected as the DoDEA Principal of the Year, and proceed through a national association nomination process, representing DoDEA at the national level. During the year, the chosen Principal of the Year will serve as an ambassador to their profession, be provided leadership growth opportunities, and support DoDEA priorities and initiatives.