Mr. Tefft began his career in education in 1993, serving as an elementary school teacher and athletics coach for eight years and an administrator for the last 20 years. In 2010, he was named Madera County, California Principal of the Year and the Association of California School Administrators Principal of the Year. .
He comes to Okinawa by way of Spangdahlem, Germany where he was the principal of Spangdahlem Elementary School for four years. Previously, he served DoDEA students at Camp Courtney, Okinawa, and Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
“I felt there was no higher calling in education than to serve the families that sacrificially serve us each day... the valiant, courageous families that protect our freedoms,” Mr. Tefft said. “We are among the most blessed of professionals and I feel like the luckiest guy every day I step foot on a DoDEA campus.”
Mr. Tefft is a military child and said he loved the adventures of life as a military-connected student.
“My late father was a pilot for most of his military career and retired after 27 years of faithful service,” Tefft said. “I understand the unique challenges of military life – the uncertainty, the constant change, transitions, and so much more. I love our military families!”
Mr. Tefft is excited and enthusiastic about returning to Okinawa and serving as principal of Bechtel Elementary School.
“I know I have a wonderful opportunity at Bechtel ES to add value, to make a positive and lasting difference, and more importantly… to ensure each child has the opportunity to be the very best they can be by ensuring our school works for all children,” Tefft said. “I believe strongly in shared leadership and am looking forward to working with all stakeholders who want to contribute to the good of BES and its children. As a servant leader, nothing is beneath me and my hope is to support teachers and staff with an incredible amount of enthusiasm, sweat, and tears, if needed. I have an open door policy, I will be visible and accessible regularly, I will engage in positive, clear, proactive communication, and I am looking forward to working with the Bechtel ES team to ensure it remains a very special place for students, parents, and staff. What a gift and blessing it is for me to serve the remarkable staff and families of Bechtel ES!”
Mr. Tefft and his wife have been married 33 years and have three children, ages 25, 23, 21. His son, Thomas, is currently a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton. Mr. Tefft enjoys spending time with is family and his hobbies include surfing, working out, exploring historical sites, reading a good book, and hacking his way through a round of golf.