Dr. Judith Allen

Dr. Judith Allen (

SEOUL, South Korea — Dr. Judith Allen has been named superintendent for the Department of Defense Education Activity’s Korea District.

Allen, who became assistant superintendent in 2011 and has been acting superintendent since Sept. 1, replaces Irby Miller, who is retiring after five years in the post and returning to the United States.

“Leadership changes during the school year are not without challenges,” DODEA Pacific Director Dr. Linda Curtis wrote in a letter to Korea District employees last month announcing Miller’s departure. “Fortunately, Dr. Allen is a career educator with more than 30 years of teaching and leading experience… she is also very familiar with the schools and communities we serve in Korea.”

Allen’s appointment follows a period of employee dissension at DODEA’s three schools in Seoul, where unspecified “adult issues” prompted Curtis to mandate three days of communication and conflict management training for elementary, middle and high school staff. A June letter from Curtis to Seoul American High School employees said the problems had affected student performance and morale.

Allen will oversee 12 schools, more than 5,000 students and approximately 650 educators and support personnel at a time of significant change for the Korea District, as the military is expected to begin in earnest its massive relocation of most forces in and north of Seoul.

As part of the move to regional hubs — primarily to Camp Humphreys, where a major expansion is underway — several Korea schools will eventually close, beginning with Casey Elementary at the end of the current school year. The military has said the long-delayed relocation, initially scheduled for 2008, will be largely completed by 2016-17.

Allen, who joined DODEA as a classroom teacher in Europe, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, a master’s in public administration from Troy State University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevado-Reno.

She was married to an Air Force veteran and has lived in military communities in Europe, the Pacific and the U.S. She has three children, including one who recently retired from the Air Force, and five grandchildren. Twitter: @Rowland_Stripes

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now