DoDEA administrator receives prestigious award

by Paul Stevenson
Department of Defense Education Activity

A Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Pacific administrator has been awarded the second highest award provided to civilian employees within agencies of the U.S. federal government.

Dr. Judith Allen, the schools superintendent for the Pacific East District, was presented the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award Aug. 1 for exemplary work over eight years with the Pacific West (Korea) District.

“I feel very honored and humbled at the same time,” Dr. Allen said about receiving the award. “I think it will take a while for the significance of the award to sink in.”

Dr. Allen arrived in the Pacific West District in 2011, and in 2014 was selected as the district superintendent. Over the past five years she has led the district encompassing 11 schools and more than 4,000 students, with approximately 700 professional educators and support personnel, and delivered high-quality pre-K through 12th grade educational programs to military communities across the Korean peninsula.

“I like having the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students and their families,” said Allen about her job as an administrator and educator. “We have a very important mission, one that I take very seriously, and that is to support the military child, to provide them a safe and secure environment where they can learn and be successful every day. PacWest has provided me that opportunity for eight years, and for that I am most appreciative and proud.”

Under Allen’s charge, DoDEA schools in all of Korea consistently ranked at the top of DoDEA schools in the world in numerous categories including test scores, graduation and post-secondary education attendance and qualification.

Even though the MCSM is awarded in recognition of superior individual achievement, Allen is quick to point out that success in education is a community effort.

“We are also fortunate to have a highly talented work force and a very supportive partnership with all of our military commands,” she said. “Everyone is important in our school system. From the custodians to the support teams to the teachers, to the administrators and on, it takes everyone working together every day to make the system work effectively and efficiently.”

A career educator with extensive teaching and administrative experience, Allen has been with DoDEA for more than 30 years, and looks forward to her next opportunity to help educate, engage and empower military connected students.

“I enjoy working with our students,” said Allen. “They are extremely talented and bring excitement to the learning environment.”

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