The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) - Pacific East District proudly announces that Ms. Barbara Hertz, Information Specialist at Yokosuka Middle School, Commander Fleet Activities – Yokosuka, has been named the 2025 DoDEA Pacific East District Teacher of the Year.

“It is humbling to be named the Pacific East District Teacher of the Year when I’m surrounded by so many teachers who are as deserving,” Ms. Hertz said. “I am excited about the opportunities this recognition brings to advocate for positive collaborative relationships between classroom teachers and specialists and to promote the importance of information literacy, critical thinking, and of course, the joy of reading.”

Ms. Hertz strives to create an inclusive library that caters to the diverse needs of students and supports their intellectual and emotional growth. She has found the best way to encourage reading is through building relationships with students, allowing them time to self-select reading choices and engaging in book discussions.

“My best days at school are when a hesitant reader returns to tell me they actually read and enjoyed a book based on my recommendation – and then they ask me for another,” Ms. Hertz said. “I value the continued relationships I have had with students over the years more than anything else. It has been a great privilege to see so many children grow into amazing young adults.”

Ms. Hertz feels that as an Information Specialist, she is uniquely positioned to collaborate with teachers in implementing the College and Career Readiness Standards and in building “real-life” 21st century blended-learning lessons that encourage independent thinking.

In addition to presenting at school, district, and state venues, Ms. Hertz has held numerous leadership positions including creating and chairing the Pacific East Middle School March Book Madness Program, serving as a team leader for the Yokosuka Middle School Pupil Support Services Team, and facilitating focused collaboration groups for Pacific East District’s middle and secondary Information Specialists.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in Education, Library Science from Old Dominion University.

Official photo of Ms. Barbara Hertz.
Barbara Hertz Information Specialist
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