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Dr. Ellen Minette

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — March 7, 2007 — Dr. Ellen Minette Principal, Heidelberg Middle School, Heidelberg, Germany, met with President Bush yesterday at the White House. The President met with Dr. Minette and three other school principals as part of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Administrator Awards Program. 

Minette was selected last September by the NASSP and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) as the 2007 National Principal of the Year for Middle School.

Dr. Minette's selection marks the first time a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) principal has become the national winner. The Principal of the Year Program began in 1993 and is sponsored by the NASSP and MetLife as a means to recognize outstanding middle level and high school principals. This program honors secondary school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as making exemplary contributions to their profession.

"I feel honored to represent the Department of Defense Schools and feel honored to represent education in general," said Minette. "I'm more than pleased to be here at the White House and to have met with the President."

Minette, originally from San Antonio, Texas, grew up in an Air Force family and has spent the past 32 years of her career working in Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Europe. She credits her success to teachers and students and attributes the joy of her job to them.

"I truly believe our education system is in the hands of excellent teachers and that's really important to me to have good leadership in the schools, to work with excellent teachers and to just be around the kids," she stated. "It's fun - especially working middle school kids - that's really fun."

Minette Meets President/2-2-2-

Accompanying Minette to the Oval Office meeting with the President were NAESP Principals of the Year Susan Bridges, from Virginia, Cathy Cathcart, from Delaware and NASSP High School Principal of the Year, Jeryl L. Martin, officials from NAESP, NASSP, and the awards program sponsors.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from prekindergarten through grade 12.

President George W. Bush meets with Ellen Minette, the 2007 National Middle Level Principal of the Year, in the Oval Office Tuesday, March 6, 2007. Minette is principal of the Department of Defense Education Activity's Heidelberg Middle School in Heidelberg, Germany. White House photo by Eric Draper.

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