Department of Defense Education Activity

Mrs. Jenaya Parris Selected as Principal Mendel Elementary School, Yokota Air Base, Yokota, Japan

For Immediate Release — November 18, 2021 | PAC-East

Ms. Jenaya Parris

Ms. Jenaya Parris, Principal, Mendel Elementary School

YOKOTA, JAPAN — November 18, 2021 — Dr. Judy Allen, DoDEA Pacific East District Superintendent, is pleased to announce the selection of Mrs. Jenaya Parris as Principal for Mendel Elementary School.

Mrs. Parris began formally working with children in various childcare settings in 1996. In 2001, she accepted a position with Catholic Charities Head Start in Baltimore City while she attended Coppin State University in her home state of Maryland. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, Mrs. Parris joined the Montgomery County Public School system (MCPS). During her tenure in MCPS, she taught 5th, 1st, and 2nd grades. As a classroom teacher, she took on several school leadership roles to include grade level team leader, Mentor Teacher for University of Maryland student teachers, and Teacher in Charge. She completed a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision (PK-12) from Loyola University in 2009. After leaving the classroom in 2012, Mrs. Parris held other positions that allowed her to advocate for children, families, and teachers in Maryland.

In 2015, her curriculum work led to a position at DoDEA Headquarters as the PK-5 Social Studies ISS. This position allowed her to coordinate Social Studies and support schools throughout DoDEA. She missed working directly with children, their families, and teachers and decided to head back into a school-based position. In August of 2017, she joined the team at Patch Elementary School in Stuttgart, Germany as the Assistant Principal. In 2018, Patch Elementary was selected as a National Blue Ribbon School as a result of the collaborative efforts of Mrs. Parris, her Principal, and a group of teacher leaders. In June of 2020, she returned to the states to join the team at Barkley Elementary school as Principal. As a member of Team Barkley, Mrs. Parris has spent her time engaging the school community in the work of aligning its practices and school culture with its vision… “Caring, Believing, Achieving Beyond Expectations”.

In addition to her experience as a classroom teacher, Mrs. Parris has worked for the Maryland State Department of Education as an Early Learning Program Specialist. In this role, she supported her department with oversight of the Maryland Preschool for All and Prekindergarten Expansion grants, coordinated operations of the Early Childhood Curriculum project, and was an active member of the state’s accreditation review committee. She also coordinated the Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Program in Early Childhood Education (MAAPP-ECE). This program provided an alternative pathway to teacher certification in ECE to professionals in other fields who were passionate about teaching and learning.

Mrs. Parris is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Restorative Practices from the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP) as well as an Ed. S in Curriculum and Instruction from Middle Tennessee State University.

Mrs. Parris is excited about starting this new chapter as Principal of Mendel Elementary. She is honored to have the opportunity to lead, learn from, and grow with the staff, students, and families of the Mendel community.


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.