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Gretchen Ridgeway, DODDS-Europe coordinator for student support services, gives principals a lesson during a workshop in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Tuesday.
Gretchen Ridgeway, DODDS-Europe coordinator for student support services, gives principals a lesson during a workshop in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Tuesday. (Jessica Iñigo / S&S)

WIESBADEN, Germany — Department of Defense Dependents Schools administrators from across Europe are focusing on mathematics and special education during the DODDS-Europe principals’ conference here.

The five-day conference, with the theme “Principals: School Leaders Sustaining High Student Achievement,” ends Friday.

Topics under discussion include: role of the principal in leading the Special Education Initiative; accountability and the Special Education Initiative; role of elementary, middle and high school counselors; how to support and improve mathematics education in your school; and student success in advanced placement courses.

Also, keynote speaker Dr. Uri Treisman will speak to all conference members Thursday about mathematics and science education, and about community service and volunteerism.

Treisman, a professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, is director of the Charles A. Dana Center.

That program supports the efforts of Texas students — especially ethnic minority and rural ones — to achieve high academic levels and to pursue advanced degrees in mathematics-based fields, according to a DODDS-Europe release.

But participants say the conference is not all speeches and professional workshops.

They said the conference offers an excellent opportunity to network and help build better communication throughout DODDS.

“It’s wonderful to meet not only district leadership, but also with all colleagues throughout DODDS,” said Mary Zimmerman, principal at Grafenwöhr Elementary in Germany.

“It offers a wonderful opportunity to meet and train together on updated regulations that affect our everyday jobs.”

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