The American Overseas Schools Historical Society is managed by a volunteer board of directors. Our current board is as follows:
Dr. Gayle Vaughn-Wiles (President) Executive Committee
Gayle is a Kansas native with a BA from Kansas Wesleyan, a MA from Prairie View, a MS from Johns Hopkins, and a PhD from Michigan State University. After working 10 years in Kansas, Texas and Maryland, she joined DoDDS with her first assignment in Okinawa as a Language Arts teacher at Naha Middle School. When Naha closed she moved to Eisenhower Elementary teaching Kindergarten and part-time reading. She also taught at Zukeran for a short time before Dr. Ed Killin selected her to oversee the DoDDS Pacific Schools Reading Programs in Korea, Japan, Philippines and Okinawa. Gayle later transferred to DoDDS Germany Regional Office and moved through various coordinator positions (compensatory education, special projects, and EEO). She spent 10 years as Assistant Principals for Frankfurt Elementary, Rhein Main Junior High and Gen H. H. Arnold High School before being selected as Principal of Patrick Henry Elementary in Heidelberg. She then returned to Okinawa as Assistant Superintendent and became Superintendent in 3 years. She loved this position that brought her back to her DoDDS roots. Gayle remained in Okinawa for 9 more years before transferring to Guam as Superintendent. By design, Gayle wanted to obtain experience in schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. Between Gayle and her husband, Dean C. Wiles, they have nearly 75 years of education experience. She is excited to be President of AOSHS and the prospects of the future. It is important to catapult our connectivity while preserving and protecting the legacy of American Overseas Schools.
Dr. Tom E. Smith (VP, PR and Technology Sub-committees) Executive Committee
Tom was an educator for forty-five years before retiring to an island paradise near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He grew up in Portland, Oregon and attended Lewis and Clark College, graduating with a B.Mus degree. He received a M. Ed degree from the U of Oregon and an Ed.D from the University of Southern California. After working as a music teacher in the Portland Public Schools for three years, Tom and his wife, Denise, left to work in a traveling musical show in Europe. While in Wiesbaden, Germany, he applied for a teaching position in USDESEA. He was offered a dormitory counselor position in Lakenheath, England. Upon leaving Lakenheath, he became the Residence Halls Supervisor in Ankara, Turkey. Subsequent tours of duty took him and his family to Italy, Belgium, Bermuda, and several locations in England as a school administrator. In addition to his DoDDS employment, Tom was active in Phi Delta Kappa International as president of three chapters, the European Representative on the PDK International board of directors and eventually as the member-at-large representing PDK worldwide outside of the USA. Tom views the opportunity to serve on the AOSHS board as an honor and sees the work the board does as important in giving direction to the future development of the society.
Stephen Abbott (Treasurer) Executive Committee
After a 27 year career with the U.S. Army, I retired in Vicenza, Italy. During my wife’s DoD career, I substituted and taught in Sigonella, Heidelberg, and Bad Aibling. I also worked for the Army CID and the National Security Agency.
I have B.A. degrees in Personnel Management from Chaminade University and European History from the University of Maryland. I also did post graduate work at Loyola University in Chicago and at Northeastern Illinois University.
I make my home in Prospect Heights, Illinois with my wife, Jill, and our beloved dogs, Gigi and Augie. I join the board as assistant treasurer and look forward to serving AOSHS.
Dr. Nancy C. Bresell (Secretary, Special Projects) Executive Committee
Nancy ended her career with DoDDS in January 2015 after a fascinating 37 years of service and now calls Asheville, NC, home. She was born in NH and received her BA from Lake Erie College in Ohio, her MA from Lehigh University in PA, and an EdD from the University of Southern California. Her first teaching position was in the Lehigh Valley, and five years later she joined the faculty at Mainz ES in Germany as a LI teacher, her first DoDDS assignment. Nancy quickly moved into management with positions as an Education Program Manager at the Darmstadt Career Center and at the DoDDS-North Germany Regional Office in the personnel and education divisions. Gelnhausen ES, followed by Frankfurt ES and Wuerzburg MS were her principalships in Germany. Although she opened the middle school in Wuerzburg, she was promoted to Superintendent, Stuttgart District, so she never really got to enjoy the fruits of her labor. She left the Stuttgart/Wuerzburg District in 1996 to take over the Japan District for one year, then on to be the Area Director for DoDDS-Pacific. As her first assignment in this position, she opened the DDESS-Guam District in the summer of 1997. After 13 years in the Pacific region, Nancy returned to Germany as the Director, DoDDS-Europe, a position she enjoyed for nearly six years before making her final DoDDS journey back home. Instead of opening schools and districts, she found herself managing school closures and transformation issues. Over the years she always admired the work of AOSHS and helped the organization whenever she could. She is proud to join the AOSHS Board and to work with other committed educators to preserve the history and culture of the overseas schools.
Lani Allanson-Donoho (Historian/Collections & Technology Sub-Committees)
Lani taught second, third and fourth grades, as well as Special Ed for preschoolers in DoDDs from 1968-1977 at Clark AFB in the Philippines and in Bamberg, Goeppingen and Heidelberg in (then) West Germany. She eventually returned to the States and continued to teach Special Education until she retired from teaching in 2004. Since then, she serves as the Special Education Consultant for School District U-46 in Elgin, Illinois, and is privileged to be a contributing member to the AOSHS Board.
Jill Abbott (Memories and Membership Sub-committee)
Greetings! My name is Jill Abbott, and I am a new board member for AOSHS. I retired from DoDDS after 25 year teaching career that included positions in Hawaii and Massachusetts before joining DoDDS in 1982. I taught in Vicenza, Italy; Sigonella, Sicily; Heidelberg and Bad Aibling, Germany; and Alconbury, England. During those years, I taught grades 1-6 in elementary and grades 6-12 at the middle/high school level.
My secondary fields were English and Social Studies. I also had certification in Psychology/Elementary Education from Chaminade University of Honolulu. My M.Ed is in Specific Learning Disabilities from Columbus College, Georgia. I also have 30+ graduate hours from various universities. Since I retired in 2007, we have made our home in Prospect Heights, Illinois. I look forward to serving the AOSHS board in maintaining and preserving the heritage of the very special way of life we experienced in DoD schools.
Dee Ann Edwards (Memorial Program)
South Dakota born, Dee moved with her family to seven different locations in four different states, all before graduating high school in Cheyenne, Wyoming. As a child of an itinerant pastor, she was a natural fit for the moves in the DoDDS world. Her teaching career began in Southern California after receiving a BA from Biola University. Her first overseas teaching position was 3rd grade in a Port Wheel Quonset Hut on Okinawa in 1966-67. She also taught at Yakota-Hamura Annex, Frankfurt ES #2, and Rhein Main ES. Dee earned a MA from Ball State University, and moved into elementary school administration in 1980, serving as Assistant Principal at Bad Kreuznach ES and Giessen ES. Her first Principal position was at Idar Oberstein ES, followed by such positions at Boeblingen ES, Wuerzburg ES, and Spangdahlem ES. Dee is a Life Member of AOSHS, a Life Member of the European Counsel of PTSA, and was active in the European chapter of PDK. Dee and her husband Ted, retired to Las Vegas in 2000. She assumed the position of Memorial Program Manager in the fall of 2014, and joined the AOSHS Board in September 2015.
Kelley Germaine (Records/Tech Liaison and Technology Sub-committee)
Kelley spent 10+ years as an advertising/marketing executive in NYC prior to moving to Bamberg, Germany in 1981 with her DoDDS husband, Bob. After working for universities in the Education Center and DoDDS, she decided to acquire her master’s and certification for education. They moved to Okinawa in 1989 where she also volunteered at the schools. In 1990, she joined DoDDS as a full time employee and spent the next 11 years teaching 6th grade, Reading Specialty, Math Comp and District Office Communications Liaison in Okinawa. She was also selected as the Okinawa Teacher of the Year and is one of the founding members of the Pacific Congress of the National Parents and Teachers Association. She served on numerous overseas and stateside national advisory boards while residing overseas. After retirement in 2001, she has volunteered for local community boards as well as the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Bob and she now live in North Carolina between the beach (Oak Island) and Chapel Hill.
Bob Germaine, Fiscal Advisor
Bob left Connecticut in 1974 after studying Mathematics, Sports Science and Economics after he graduated with a Bachelors and Masters from the University of Connecticut. During this timeframe he taught in Connecticut and California. His first DoDDS assignment was London Central High School where he taught Mathematics and coached wrestling, soccer, and football along with junior class and student council sponsorships. He also helped with the “dormies” by hosteling on weekends.
In 1978, he returned to the States and worked at East Hartford, CT, Mamaroneck, NY and Greenwich, CT school systems. During that time, he met his wife, Kelley. In 1981, he dragged her away from her advertising/marketing executive job in New York City, to return to DoDDS again with an assignment in Bamberg, Germany. The Germaines never looked back and had two younger daughters, Lera and Ilana, born in Bamberg, (West) Germany that were joined by their oldest daughter Brie. Bob continued to teach Mathematics and coach multiple sports – 8 years at Bamberg American High School and 12 years in Okinawa at Kadena and Kubasaki High Schools.
Bob retired in 2001 and moved to Oak Island, NC where both Germaines do volunteer work for the Town, UNC-Chapel Hill (Lera and Ilana’s alma mater), and of course most importantly the work we do for AOSHS.
Douglas S. Kelsey, Assistant Treasurer
Douglas S. Kelsey received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Baker University (’68) and Masters in Mathematics from Emporia State, KS (’73). Prior to DoDDS, Doug spent 8 years with international schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (American Community School) and Tokyo, Japan (St. Mary’s International School). Doug’s first DoDDS assignment was assistant principal of Nuernberg American High School (1985-1987). Subsequently, he became principal of Fulda American High School (1987), Hanau AHS (1989) and Ramstein AHS (1990-1995).
For the 1995-96 school year he moved to DoDDS-Italy as Assistant Superintendent. In 1996, Kelsey became Superintendent of Schools, DoDDS-Korea until the fall of 2000 when he took the same position for the Okinawa School System. He remained there until 2002 when he became Deputy Director of Education, Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS). In October 2003, he was promoted to Deputy Director, DDESS.
Kelsey was selected as the Associate Director for Extended Learning in Department of Defense Education Activity’s (DoDEA) Educational Partnership Directorate (2007). He was appointed the Interim Superintendent, DoDDS-Korea, October 2008 to September 2009. He retired from DoDEA in January 2010.
Immediately following his retirement, Doug served as the School Support Specialist for IMCOM-Pacific until retiring in January 2016. This meant that the School Liaison Officers at the US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) AOR installations collaborated and coordinated all activities with him to effectively serve all Army families with school-age children in the Pacific.
Doug now lives in Mesa, Arizona, with his wife Darlynn. His wife is a retired DoDDS’ educator. They are the parents of three DoDDS’ graduates: Shandy (Fulda American HS), Leisha (Ramstein American HS) and Ja’Ney (Aviano American HS).
Chris Kyrios (Relocation Research, BRAT Representative, and Collections Sub-committee)
Chris is educator brat, born in Heidelberg and then attending Karlsruhe K-12. After graduation from the University of Rochester (NY) Chris served in the Navy as a Supply Officer. An MBA from the College of William and Mary led to a business career in VA, NY, and now in Denver. Chris may not have become an educator, but his dad, Al Kyrios dedicated 40 years of DoDDs service in Berlin, Rochefort, Bremerhaven, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe & Wiesbaden. Chris' sister Lisa taught at Nurnberg, and Chris' oldest son, Alex is a librarian. (His other son just became a lawyer.)
For 30+ years Chris has been active with the Karlsruhe HS Alumni Association, Overseas Brats, and more recently, AOSHS, and Brats Without Borders, producers of the movie, Brats, Our Journey Home. Chris enjoys sharing his "businessman's point of view" to the board!