Story and photos by Steve Parker
As teachers return to ready their classrooms for school year 2015-2016 at the Sullivans School on board Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), they are well met by many community volunteers already hard at work preparing for the upcoming arrival of smiling student faces set to arrive on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, the first day of School year 2015-2016.
The Community Service Club (CSC) from Nile C. Kinnick High School, another partner school of the Yokosuka School Complex, sent several high school volunteers to help teachers put up bulletin boards and ready their classrooms. Jaclyn Simpson, a first grade teacher at Sullivans invited her daughter Kalleah Simpson, the secretary of the club to Sullivans when her daughter expressed a desire to “start volunteering early to get a good kick off to the year.” Kalleah showed up at the Sulivans the next day with club members Justin Young, Jeanne Rosario and club president, Lorie Coyne. Coyne, a longtime resident of Yokosuka shared this quote she wanted to place on the CSC t-shirts the club is designing, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi.
Two Sailors from the USS John S McCain (DDG 56), Fire Controlman 2nd class David Dry and Logistics Specialist 3rd class Perry Ivery stated they were volunteering because they stood ready to “do whatever the teachers needed to get ready for the kids!”
Erin LaMay, Sullivans second grade teacher praised her friend, Ashley Williams, a U.S. Navy wife, who stopped by to help her in her classroom. “She’s a great help! She’s laminating my name tags in the supply room right now!”
Sullivans’ returning administrator, Vice Principal Angelia Hadley stated, “The volunteers in our community are fantastic. The Sullivans School is very grateful for the contribution of the students, sailors and parents who have donated their own time to help us welcome the children. We could not have prepared nearly as well without their invaluable contribution.”
Sullivans’ incoming Principal, Daisy Weddle said, “Yokosuka Base and its community are very supportive of the schools. We look forward to ringing in a positive and productive school year with Captain Glenister on Monday.”
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, Department of Defense schools evolved to become a comprehensive and high-performing K-12 school system solely dedicated to educating the children of America’s heroes. Today, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Pacific’s 48 schools serve nearly 23,000 military-connected children of U.S. Servicemembers and civilian support personnel stationed throughout Pacific theater. The DoDEA Pcific teaching, administrative and school support team includes more than 3,000 full-time professionals. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea. The Sullivans School is the largest school in DoDEA with a student body of approximately 1,200 in grades K-5.