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New Interim Director for DoDEA Operations

By Frank O’Gara
New Interim Director for DoDEA Operations

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) named Dr. Joan Islas to a temporary appointment effective immediately as the Interim Director for DoDEA operations in Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East, following the recent retirement of longtime Area Director, Dr. Nancy Bresell.
As the Interim Director for DoDEA schools in Europe, Dr. Islas will oversee the operations of 71 schools located on U.S. military installations throughout nine countries in Europe. DoDEA’s schools in Europe are headquartered in Sembach, Germany and are structured into four districts which educate more than 29,000 students and employ more than 4,700 employees.
Prior to being named to this position, Dr. Islas was serving as the Deputy Director for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, for DoDEA operations in Europe.
“Dr. Islas is a very talented and dedicated leader who is committed to student achievement and success,” said DoDEA Director Thomas M. Brady. “Her familiarity, leadership and expertise in all aspects of our school operations in Europe will serve us well.
The leadership continuity she brings to this new assignment facilitates excellence in student and school performance. Throughout her DoDEA career, she has demonstrated her passion for quality education and a commitment to serving students of our nation’s military families,” Brady added.
Dr. Islas has been serving with DoDEA for 15 years. Her DoDEA career began as a multi-age teacher at C.T. Joy Elementary School in Jinhae, South Korea. Dr. Islas spent eight years in the Korea District as an educator, assistant principal and principal before her promotion in 2008 to Assistant Superintendent in the Bavaria District in Ansbach, Germany.
In 2013, she assumed the duties of Assistant Superintendent for the Mediterranean District in Vicenza, Italy. Last September, she was selected as Europe’s Deputy Director for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.
Prior to joining the DoDEA school system, Dr. Islas and her family resided in southern California, where she worked in both public and private school settings as an elementary school educator with a focus on multi-age and multi-cultural education.
Dr. Islas earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in Psychology from Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. She completed a Master of Science Degree in Foundations of Education at Troy University, and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership at Argosy University, Orange County, California.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-K through Grade 12 education programs for school-age 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.

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