Mary Dalla Betta

Mary Dalla Betta ()

SCHWEINFURT, Germany — The Department of Defense Education Activity has selected a Schweinfurt school administrator as its elementary school assistant principal of the year.

Mary Dalla Betta, assistant principal at Schweinfurt Elementary School, learned of her award during a Department of Defense Dependents Schools conference in Frankfurt on Aug. 8-12.

Her principal had encouraged her to apply for the award last spring.

“I was wonderfully surprised, and so honored,” she said during a telephone interview Tuesday. “I didn’t know it was part of the agenda.”

Dalla Betta earned degrees from the University of Massachusetts and the University of New Mexico.

She started the first of three stints totaling 23 years with DODDS in 1969.

She spent 20 of them as a teacher in Germany, Spain and Okinawa.

Dalla Betta served as principal at public elementary schools in Los Alamos, N.M., from 1984-91, before returning to teach at Würzburg Elementary School.

She has been the assistant principal in Schweinfurt for three years. Her husband, Leonard, teaches with DODDS.

Last year, Dalla Betta said, 94 percent of the pupils (and 28 of the school’s teachers) had sponsors deployed to Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division.

She worked with staff and parent organizations to transform the school into the focus of the community, a place where anyone could freely discuss the hardships of coping with deployments and get counseling, if necessary. She also has helped to implement a variety of programs to encourage reading, and to test children’s reading skills.

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