The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) - Pacific South District has selected Mr. Michael Callahan, a fifth grade teacher at Amelia Earhart Intermediate School at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, as its 2025 Teacher of the Year.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored,” Mr. Callahan said. “Amongst so many talented DoDEA educators, this award validates my devotion to my chosen profession and the positive impact that I strive to make with each and every student.”

Mr. Callahan has taught at AEIS for 24 years. Prior to joining DoDEA, he participated in the Japan and Exchange Teaching Programme (JET), serving for four years as an assistant language teacher in Okinawa City. Throughout his career, Mr. Callahan has exemplified leadership in various capacities, including serving as Continuous School Improvement Leader Team Member (CSILT), Continuous School Improvement (CSI) Co-Chairperson, Grade Level Team Leader, Mentor Leader, and Instructional Rounds Facilitator. He is also the former coach of varsity boys’ soccer at Kadena High School, where he guided student-athletes to multiple DoDEA Pacific Far East Championships and Ryukyu International Soccer Association Team Sportsmanship Awards.

“I have had the privilege to work with military-connected students for over two decades now,” Mr. Callahan said. “The diversity and collective experiences of our DoDEA students creates a dynamic environment in our schools. I am honored to support our military families by striving to create a safe and nurturing environment for their children in my classroom, built on high levels of academic achievement combined with a focus on developing 21st century learners who possess a global awareness and respect for different cultures.”

Central to Mr. Callahan’s teaching philosophy is the cultivation of 21st-century learning skills among his students. He believes in the power of collaboration, active student engagement, and technology integration as pillars for fostering student growth. By prioritizing these skills, Mr. Callahan strives to empower his students with the essential tools needed to thrive in an ever-evolving global society.

“I truly enjoy building relationships and making connections with my students,” he said. “Witnessing their growth, curiosity, and enthusiasm for learning fuels my passion to consistently improve my skills as an educator. Fifth grade is a pivotal year for my students, I enjoy being part of their educational journey as they prepare for the transition to middle school and beyond.”

Mr. Callahan holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Saint Michael’s College of Vermont and a Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership from Troy State University.

Official photo of Mr. Michael Callahan.
Michael Callahan 5th Grade Teacher
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