For Immediate Release — January 14, 2022 | PAC-South
OKINAWA, JAPAN — January 14, 2022 — Department of Defense Education Activity – Pacific Director for Student Excellence Ms. Lois Rapp is pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Melissa Hayes as Superintendent of the Pacific South District (Okinawa, Japan). Ms. Hayes will assume the role of Pacific South Superintendent effective March 6, 2022.
Ms. Hayes joined DoDEA in 2000 and has served as an Instructional Systems Specialist, principal, and most recently Community Superintendent for DoDEA Europe West in Belgium.
“Ms. Hayes is a career educator and educational leader with extensive experience serving military-connected communities,” Ms. Rapp said. “Her dedication and commitment to our students, families, staff, and military partners make her a great fit to lead the Pacific South District.”
Ms. Hayes holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood from Auburn University and master’s degrees in Early Childhood and Educational Leadership, both from Troy University.
“I am honored to be selected as the new superintendent for DoDEA Pacific South,” Ms. Hayes said. “I look forward to beginning this new adventure and building partnerships with stakeholders to ensure Pacific South continues to provide the very best educational opportunities for our military-connected students.”
Ms. Hayes began her career in 1981 teaching kindergarten, first and third grades in Alabama. In 1997, she was named Lanett City Schools Teacher of the Year.
She attended the Georgia State University’s Reading Recovery training program, graduating in 1998 and becoming a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader for DeKalb County Schools, GA. While in DeKalb County, Ms. Hayes trained Reading Recovery Teachers, provided professional development, and worked with the District Superintendent’s Office in providing Balanced Literacy training to teachers in 26 elementary schools. Ms. Hayes was a speaker for regional and national Reading Recovery conferences in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.
As a DoDEA Instructional Systems Specialist for Reading Recovery in Fort Benning, Ga., she taught students, trained teachers, and provided ongoing professional development for educators. While at Fort Benning, Ms. Hayes facilitated numerous workshops for teachers in the areas of balanced literacy, writing, teaching reading in the content areas, and teaching struggling readers. She developed, organized, and implemented Fort Benning’s Parent Academy as well as very successful summer reading camps for students. Ms. Hayes was awarded the General’s Award for Excellent Service to the Fort Benning Community.
In 2005, Ms. Hayes became principal of Dexter Elementary School, located at Fort Benning. While principal, the school received the Partnership of the Year Award from the Muscogee County Partners in Education program. The school also received an International Reading Association award for having the best reading program for the state of Georgia.
In 2006, Ms. Hayes became principal of Maxwell AFB Elementary School in Montgomery, Ala. As a military child, Ms. Hayes attended Maxwell – to be selected as its principal was a special honor. While principal at Maxwell, the school received numerous honors and awards. During the 2008-2009 school year, Ms. Hayes served as principal at both Maxwell Elementary and Robins AFB Elementary. In 2010, Ms. Hayes was tasked with implementing a middle school, which made Maxwell a DoDEA Unit School with grades PreK-8.
In 2012, Ms. Hayes was named as principal of Aviano Elementary School in Aviano, Italy. Under her leadership, Aviano Elementary School fully embraced the merging of Continuous School Improvement with College Career Readiness Standards. Through professional development, Ms. Hayes built capacity within the organization and assisted teachers in becoming facilitators in adult learning. Under her leadership, the school enhanced its STEM program, infusing opportunities for students to develop technology skills such as coding and robotics.
Since 2016, Ms. Hayes has served DoDEA as a Community Superintendent in Europe.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the United States that serve children of military families.