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Latest Press Releases

DoDEA Korea District Superintendent Dr. Judith Allen

Allen named superintendent for the DoDEA Korea District

Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific Director Dr. Linda Curtis has named Dr. Judith Allen as the superintendent for the DoDEA Korea District. Allen is a career educator with extensive teaching and administrative experience. She joined DoDEA more than 30 years ago as a classroom teacher in Europe and went on to hold a number of positions of progressive responsibility before being selected as the assistant superintendent for the DoDEA Korea District in 2011.

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Ceremonies, smiles abound as DoDEA Pacific completes first week of 2014-15 school year

More than 23,000 students and 3,000 professional educators and support staff returned to Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific schools Aug. 25-29 for the first week of the new school year.

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Coyle named DoDEA Pacific Deputy Director for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

DoDEA Pacific Director Dr. Linda Curtis announced today the selection of Dr. Gael Coyle as DoDEA Pacific Deputy Director for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

DoDEA Pacific names 2014 Volunteer Excellence Award recipients

DoDEA Pacific Director Dr. Linda Curtis recently announced the selection of the 2014 DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award winners.

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DoDEA Pacific student participates in prestigious Research Science Institute at MIT

Edgren High School junior Sola Sharai is one of 80 exceptional science and math high school whizzes around the world attending the 31st annual Research Science Institute at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities from June 22 to Aug. 2.




District & School News

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Counting to meet culture at upcoming soroban competitions

Japan District
Tokyo, Japan | March 26, 2013

Approximately 80 students from Japanese schools located in Kanagawa Prefecture will participate alongside 90 DoDEA students from Arnn Elementary School, Byrd ES, Ikego ES, Lanham ES and The Sullivans ES. The students will compete in a variety of oral and written challenges to determine the overall champion and top performers in several categories.

Following the contest Thursday, all participating students will join in a special friendship building and cultural exchange activity using the traditional Japanese game Jan Ken Pon—similar to rock-paper-scissors.

The soroban is believed to have been first introduced to the Japanese via China and Korea around 1600 A.D., however, over the centuries the Japanese soroban has been modified for portability, advanced calculations and finger-friendly bead design geared toward quick and accurate counting. Although handheld calculators have been available for decades, the soroban remains popular today among many Japanese families with elementary-age children as a way to reinforce mathematics concepts taught at school.

Soroban contests for students attending DoD schools in Japan began over three decades ago and are sponsored by the Soroban League Educational Association of Japan in coordination with DoDEA Japan District Host Nation Program Coordinator Manami Mikami. 

“Soroban helps children better understand base tens and place values while simultaneously strengthening their concentration, patience and endurance,” according to Mikami, “The soroban contests and activities are unique because they provide a meaningful cultural connection between our students and Japanese children and educators.”

Beyond the exciting competition, each soroban contest also features an exemplary local Japanese student demonstrating startling mathematical ability by correctly calculating a complex and lengthy series of numbers flashed on a screen for only a fraction of a second in rapid-fire succession—no paper or soroban required as the student does everything in their head and delivers the answer instantly. Never failing to draw cheers from delighted spectators, these remarkable performances showcase the advanced mental computations made possible by higher-level soroban education.

Educational benefits of the soroban include improved conceptual math abilities, faster and more accurate calculations and increased student motivation. For a brief overview of the history and educational benefits of the soroban, please visit: http://www.osaka-abacus.or.jp/english/contributed/The%20Japanese%20Soroban.html

soroban Photo

TOKYO (May 31, 1983) Students from DoD schools in Japan compete in the inaugural Kantō Plain soroban contest at the National Education Center.

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SASEBO, Japan (April 27, 2011) The soroban is for everyone as demonstrated by this impromptu lesson given to Commander of Fleet Activities Sasebo Capt. Francis Martin and Sasebo ES Principal Dr. Chris Racek.

About DoDEA Pacific:

The first organized schools for the children of U.S. military personnel serving in the Pacific were established in 1946 during post-World War II reconstruction. Throughout the decades, DoD schools evolved to become a comprehensive and high-performing K-12 school system solely dedicated to educating the children of America’s heroes. 

Today, DoDEA Pacific’s 49 schools serve over 23,500 children of U.S. military and eligible DoD civilian personnel families stationed throughout the Pacific theater. The DoDEA Pacific teaching, administrative and school support team includes more than 3,300 full-time professionals. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.







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