Dr. Jennifer Sears, PhD
DoDEA- Principal- Spangdahlem Elementary School- School Year 2022-2023
Dr. Jennifer Sears joined the Spangdahlem community in October 2021. She is passionate about educating, engaging, and empowering students, teachers, and the staff she leads. Dr. Sears’ focus is to create an environment fostering the academic, social, and emotional development of students to become lifelong learners and active problem solvers in our global 21st century society. As the child of a retired and service-connected disabled Air Force member, she believes strongly in supporting the military mission.
Dr. Sears joined DoDEA as a Reading/ESL Specialists in Hohenfels, Germany in 1999, where she taught for 16 years. She has 23 years with DoDEA and 27 years in education overall. Before coming to DoDEA, she taught at Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove, Texas. She then taught German and Reading Improvement at Central High School in San Angelo, Texas.
In November 2015, Dr. Sears was promoted to Assistant Principal at E.C. Killin Elementary School in Okinawa, Japan, which received the 2017 National Blue Ribbon School for Exemplary High Performing Schools during her tenure. In 2018, Dr. Sears became Assistant Principal at Amelia Earhart Intermediate School, also in Okinawa, Japan. In 2019, she promoted to the Principal at Stearley Heights Elementary School, where she served two years and then facilitated the closure of the school in the summer of 2021. She moved immediately to Zukeran Elementary School to serve as Principal for the summer enrichment program and begin the 2021-2022 school year before being chosen as Principal at Spangdahlem Elementary School.
A Texas native, Dr. Sears proudly comes from a government/service-oriented family and learned from an early age to serve America proudly. Her father was in the US Air Force (retired). Her mother started as a Navy nurse, then worked for Veteran’s Administration, and a University Professor. Dr. Sears’ brother recently retired from the Veteran’s Administration and Indian Health.
Dr. Sears holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and German, and a master’s degree as a Reading Specialist from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. In addition, she holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education with a specialization in Literacy with honors from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her dissertation was “Teacher Perspectives of Instructing Struggling Readers Who are Children of Military Personnel.”
Dr. Sears is accompanied by her husband and daughter, a student at SPES. They enjoy traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Sears is honored and enthusiastic about working together with the staff, students, and families of the Spangdahlem military-connected community. It is her honor to support DoDEA students as they achieve excellence every day in every way.
Dr. TJ Klein, Ed.D
DoDEA- Assistant Principal- Spangdahlem Elementary School- School Year 2022-2023
Dr. TJ Klein is a native of Flint, Michigan. He earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration from Argosy University, a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus, an Associate of Applied Science in Meteorology from the Community College of the Air Force, an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from Elizabethtown Community College, and a Certificate in Gifted and Talented from the University of California San Diego.
As an educator, he has been certified since 2004 and taught in Michigan, Arizona, South Carolina (Ft. Jackson - DoDEA Americas), Korea (Daegu Elementary School - DoDEA PAC West), and Germany (Netzaberg Elementary School - DoDEA Europe East; Spangdahlem Elementary School – DoDEA Europe West). Over the years, he has been blessed to teach Middle School Science, Physical Education, and self-contained grades 3-8. He worked in various roles throughout his career to include Continuous School Improvement Chairperson, Grade Level Chair, head basketball coach, head soccer coach, various committees and clubs, and has worked closely with the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).
Dr. TJ Klein grew up in a military family, as he spent the first five years of his life in England. As a decorated Air Force veteran (including deployment), he and his family have lived extensively in Michigan, Arizona, South Carolina, and several other overseas locations. These varying experiences help him to understand the military child and the challenges that come with living in a military family. There is nothing he would rather do than serve military students and their families as it is an honor and a privilege.
He and his beautiful wife are empty nesters as their adult children have moved into the next chapters of their lives. All their children, at some point, attended DoDEA schools (overseas) or schools on military installations (stateside). As a family, they have either lived in or visited 30 different countries and love to meet new people and experience new places.
Outside of school, the sport of soccer holds a special place in his heart, as he played college soccer and coached extensively over the years. In addition, much time is spent enjoying family activities, serving others, and traveling.
Dr. TJ Klein is blessed and honored to serve the families of Spangdahlem Elementary School and others stationed at or near Spangdahlem Air Force Base!