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OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — When the school year starts again later this month at Department of Defense Dependents schools around South Korea, students will see plenty of new teachers and in four schools, a new principal.

School starts Aug. 30 for some 3,800 students within the DODDS system in Korea.

The 107 new teachers will replace the teachers who regularly transfer out of South Korea, said Charles Toth, DODDS Korea district superintendent. DODDS will employ 440 teachers in South Korea this year.

In addition, four principals have been transferred from other DODDS Pacific schools under routine DODDS policy that aims to move principals after five or six years at one school, Toth said.

“For the past several years it has been policy to try to provide principals the opportunity to move into a new environment, to spark additional education and enhancement through that relocation,” said Toth. “Usually it’s after a five-year period of tenure at a building. Sometimes it goes a little longer because of various factors.”

Those five or six years, said Toth, himself a former principal, offer a chance “to make an impact with your vision of where you would like to see a school be through your arrival to your eventual departure. And it is a kind of rejuvenating experience to take a look at a new environment.”

Of the new teachers, 25 are transfers from DODDS schools worldwide, said Toth.

“We have teachers transferring from Italy, from Germany, from Japan,” Toth said.

Another 23 new teachers are local hires. And 59 more are coming in from the continental United States, many brand new to the DODDS system, Toth said. “For the majority ... this is their first ... DODDS overseas experience,” he said. “And they’re coming from all areas of the United States.”

“This year’s Korea teacher turnover is somewhat higher than last year’s,” Toth said.

About 80 came in last school year, “so the 107 coming this year is pretty significant, but that number is predicated by the large number of transfers Korea teachers received to other parts of the DODEA world,” Toth said, referring to the Department of Defense Education Activity.

“It’s good too,” he said of the influx, “because … people always bring new ideas, a freshness to a school and community. Makes it an exciting time.”

Helen Bailey, new principal at Taegu American School, said she felt “excitement, enthusiasm” at the chance to apply her educational vision in a new school.

“When you go from one school to another school,” she said, “your vision basically stays the same, which is to educate and motivate the students. And that has always been my vision, to strive for excellence, and I take that vision with me wherever I go throughout DODDS and DODEA. DODDS is a place of change and change is going to take place quite often in DODDS. And I enjoy that.”

Information about the new school year is available by phoning local DODDS school offices.

New principals

Department of Defense Dependents Schools South Korea will be getting new principals this fall:• Seoul American High School: Kathleen Barbee will transfer from Pusan American School, where she also was principal.• Pusan American School: Keith Henson, a transfer from Seoul American High School.• C.T. Joy Elementary School, Chinhae: Ray Paulson, a transfer from Taegu American School. He’ll replace Bud Iles, named principal of Bob Hope Primary School, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.• Taegu American School: Helen Bailey, a transfer from Kinnick High School, Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, where she was an assistant principal.


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