ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — June 2, 2009 — Mr. Sam Menniti, the Korea District Superintendent for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools - Pacific (DoDDS-Pacific), died on Sunday, May 31, after a prolonged illness near his home in Florida.
Menniti, whose career in education spanned nearly 35 years, began his career with the Department of Defense Schools in 1974 as a reading specialist at the Izmir Dependent School, in Turkey. He went on to teach reading in Vicenza, Italy and later held Principal positions in Italy at Rimini Elementary School, Aviano Elementary School, Comiso Elementary/High School, and La Maddalena Elementary/Junior High School.
In 1990, Menniti was assigned to Misawa Air Base in Japan as the Principal of Robert D. Edgren High School. He went on to several additional assignments in the Pacific, as the Principal of Zama American High School, and Pusan American School. He returned to Turkey in 1996 as the Principal of Incirlik American High School and went on to Europe to become the Principal at London Central High School/Dormitory in England.
In addition to his experience as a teacher and principal, Menniti was the Assistant Superintendent at Department of Defense Schools' United Kingdom and Mediterranean District prior to his most recent assignment as the Korea District Superintendent.
Menniti's vast experience as an educator is matched only by his personal commitment to serving the children of military families. Menniti once wrote, "Effective schools are a tremendous quality of life benefit for members of America's Military Services. It is the responsibility of the leadership to make certain the energies and resources of the school system remained focused on students. An educational leader is charged with ensuring that children in the military community receive the highest quality education."
Dr. Nancy C. Bresell, Area Director for DoDDS-Pacific Schools, remembered Menniti for his ability to motivate and inspire teachers and students.
"Sam was the kind of educational leader we all aspire to be," she said. "He had high expectations for our students and schools and he knew how to motivate students, teachers, and administrators to work to meet those expectations. He will be missed."
Menniti, a native of Ridgeway, Pa., received his Bachelor of Science in Education in 1974 from Youngstown State in Youngstown, Ohio. He held a Masters Degree in Curriculum Development from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga., and a Certification in Gifted Education from the University of South Florida, in Tampa, Fla.
Menniti also conducted postgraduate study at the University of Pittsburgh in Educational Leadership.
Throughout his career with DoDEA schools, Menniti contributed to professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators and made many presentations to worldwide administrator conferences.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.