Department of Defense Education Activity

Patrick Buckley selected as the 2020 Pacific Principal Of The Year

Mr. James Buckley, Sollars ES Principal

Mr. Patrick Buckley, Sollars ES Principal

OKINAWA, JAPAN — March 12, 2020 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Pacific region is pleased to announce Patrick Buckley, principal of Sollars Elementary School in Misawa, Japan, as the 2020 DoDEA Pacific Principal of the Year. 

“Patrick’s work in creating opportunities for students and teachers to excel sets the example for others,” said Ms. Lois Rapp, DoDEA Pacific Director for Student Excellence. “In addition, his dedication to building relationships with parents and community stakeholders has led to a strong sense of shared responsibility for education at Sollars Elementary.” 

Buckley has eleven years of experience as an instructional leader, having served as a principal in several international schools prior to joining DoDEA in 2017. He has been the principal at Sollars Elementary School since December, 2017. 

Buckley completed his undergraduate degree at Colorado State University and earned master’s degrees from Grand Canyon University and the University of Northern Colorado. 

“I am so proud of Sollars Elementary and the Misawa Air Base community; this honor is a reflection of the team’s dedication to serving our students together,” said Buckley. “The Sollars team has always been committed to caring for students and serving them well; our growth over the last several years has been fine-tuning existing operations and processes.” 

The DoDEA Principal of the Year Program recognizes outstanding school principals, one in each region, who have succeeded in leading high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession. The process begins at the local level, where principals are nominated by peers, employees, parents, students or community members. 

One of the Regional awardees will be selected as the DoDEA Principal of the Year, and proceed through a national association nomination process, representing DoDEA at the national level. During the year, the chosen Principal of the Year will serve as an ambassador to their profession, be provided leadership growth opportunities, and support DoDEA priorities and initiatives.

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 a 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 U.S. that serve children of military families.