ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA — June 2, 2021 — In a ceremony at the Mark Center, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Director Tom Brady presented Dr. Terri Marshall with the Spirit of Service Award. The award recognizes the virtues of public service across the Department of Defense (DoD), and this year’s award was given to only eight people in the entire Department.
Dr. Marshall has served as principal of the DoDEA Virtual High School (DVHS) for the past ten years. She was selected as the DoDEA Principal of the Year for 2020. Up to that point, the DVHS had around 2,000 part-time high school students. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school and new full-time K-8 virtual option enrollment grew to more than 10,000 students, requiring the DVHS to educate approximately 15.5% of the entire population of DoDEA- eligible students during school year 2020-21.
According to Mr. Brady, the ability of the virtual school to accommodate such a large volume of students so smoothly was due to the hard work and dedication of Dr. Marshall. “What jumped out to me (about Dr. Marshall) was the high level of service provided to those who serve and to be collaborative and innovative,” said Mr. Brady during the award ceremony. “You just never cease to amaze me.”
Mr. Brady also commended Dr. Marshall’s willingness to learn from her coworkers, parents and students throughout the past school year. “There were a lot of kids and teachers who were new to this experience; parents who were also new,” he said. “You asked them about their experience and used their experiences to make it better for everybody. And that's just a model for how to be a learning leader. That models what we in an education organization should look like and live like.”
For C. Michael Kline, Chief of Technology and Innovation, having someone like Dr. Marshall on his team means he knows that students and parents will be taken care of, no matter where they live or work. “I'm proud to work alongside Dr. Marshall every day and thrilled to see her honored for her professionalism, service, and spirit,” he said.
The DoD Spirit of Service Award was created to promote, perpetuate, and recognize the virtues of public service across the Department. The program recognizes DoD career civilian employees who have displayed a commitment to public service through at least one of the following means within the last 10 years:
• Safeguarding taxpayer money
• Championing the highest level of service to those in the community
• Providing service to those who serve
• Using innovation or collaboration to bring out the best in the workforce
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of DoD personnel who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, Middle East, Cuba, United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to local educational agencies that serve children of military families throughout the United States.