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Richard R. Alix

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — April 11, 2007 — Mr. Richard R. Alix, Principal of Naples Elementary School in Naples, Italy, has been selected as the Department of Defense Education Activity's (DoDEA's) nominee to the 2007 National Distinguished Principals (NDP) Program.

In addition to being selected as the DoDEA nominee to the 2007 National Distinguished Principals Program, Alix was named as the 2007 DoDEA Principal of the Year for Elementary and Middle Schools.

The National Distinguished Principals Program was established in 1984 as an annual event to honor exemplary elementary and middle school principals who set the pace, character, and quality of the education children receive during their early school years. The program is jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), in corporate partnership with the American International Group Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (AIG VALIC).

One principal is chosen annually from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Principals representing private K-8 schools, Department of Defense Dependents' Schools, and the U.S. Department of State Overseas Schools are also recognized. Public school principals are nominated by peers in their home states, and the final selection for each state's NDP is made by the NAESP state affiliate. Honorees from private schools and overseas schools are selected by special committees.

Alix has worked for DoDEA schools for more than 26 years, initially as a teacher, then as an Education Program Manager, Assistant Principal and in his current position as a Principal. His career has taken him to Germany, Japan, Iceland and Italy. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Wadhams Hall Seminary College in Ogdensburg, New York and his Masters of Science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

A constant, dedicated commitment to School Improvement Planning, staff development, communications, training, engaging an adult learning community, understanding data, and community involvement are the hallmarks of Alix's educational philosophy. Alix's philosophy is the key to his accomplishments in building a high-achieving school community.

"I believe that stimulating change in a call for higher expectations and standards-driven instruction while recognizing the achievements of every learner builds a learning community," he said. "I also think that being visible, welcoming, student-oriented, focusing on student academic and social achievement and enlisting all elements of the community helps every child reach success in a safe learning environment and builds ownership and trust in the school community," he added.

Dr. Archie W. Bates, Superintendent of DoDEA's Mediterranean District lauded Alix for his devotion to learning and the school community.

"Rich's passion for teaching and learning is evident throughout the school," Bates said. "He actively involves himself in educational events, leads in keeping the focus on learning and makes an effort to know each student in his school."

"We're very fortunate to have Rich on our team," said Dr. Joe Tafoya, Director of DoDEA. "His character, competence and compassion have garnered him the complete respect of parents, his school staff and our administration," he said.

Alix will be honored at the NDP's awards ceremonies this fall in Washington, DC. In addition to his recent awards, Alix is involved in a variety of professional organizations, to include Phi Delta Kappa, The Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, NAESP, and the American Red Cross.

Editors: For more information about the NAESP and the NDP Program, visit

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