By Department of Defense Education Activity – Americas /
The Georgia-Alabama District announced that Dr. Joan Islas will serve as the principal of Faith Middle School.
Islas has been with DoDEA for 17 years. Her DoDEA career began as a multiage teacher at C.T. Joy Elementary School in Jinhae, South Korea.
Islas spent almost a decade in the Korea District as an educator, assistant principal and principal before her promotion in 2008 to assistant superintendent in the Bavaria District.
Serving the Bavaria District, she focused on continuous school improvement, best instructional practices and students meeting and exceeding high standards of learning. In January 2013, Islas joined the Mediterranean Team as the assistant superintendent. Her leadership impacted a district comprised of 18 schools across five countries, supporting military-connected students with parents serving in the Air Force, Army, Navy and international embassies. Islas facilitated the process of schools using formative assessments to drive instruction and meet the individual needs of all students. She has always been a strong advocate of ensuring quality instruction for special needs students.
Following her tenure in the Mediterranean District, Islas was promoted to deputy director for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment of DoDEA Europe’s 67 schools and 28,000 students across eight countries. Her focus on the roll-out of College and Career Ready Standards and Europe-wide implementation of DoDEA’s Restructuring for Student Achievement enabled successful curricular and organizational transitions to enhance learning opportunities and maximize resources at the school-level. Islas’ work as a liaison with senior U.S. military leaders in the European theater cemented a strong foundation for lasting partnerships to support military-connected students and their families.
In August of 2008, Dr. Islas was presented the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service from the Department of the Army for her effort in creating a Parent University and preparing and planning for the reconfiguration of Humphreys Elementary School to a K-8 Elementary/Middle School. In 2003, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science. She won the DoDEA award in the area of elementary mathematics.
Islas earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in Psychology from Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. She completed a Master’s of Science Degree in Foundations of Education at Troy University, while in Seoul, Korea, and a Doctorates Degree in Educational Leadership at Argosy University, Orange County, California. Islas actively focuses on continuous improvement in all areas and levels of education. She firmly believes that all students can and will learn and is a strong advocate for advances in DoDEA special education programs.
“It is our charge as educators to uncover the unique strengths and talents that lie within each of our students and to patiently yet persistently guide all students towards reaching their full potential. In partnership with our parents and local community, we can create a strong support system to nurture our children as they realize their goals and dreams.”