The American Overseas Schools Historical Society is managed by a volunteer board of directors. Our current board is as follows:
Gayle is a Kansas native with a BA from Kansas Wesleyan, MA from Prairie View, 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 where she taught Kindergarten and part-time reading.
Gayle 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 then 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.
Dr. Vaughn-Wiles 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.
Linda was raised in Granite City, Illinois, a town just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. After high school, she attended Eastern Illinois University. In 1977, she backpacked through Europe and met several DoDDS teachers. Upon returning home, she immediately applied to DoDDS. At that time, Linda was an active member of the Granite City Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW). An avid speaker, Linda won the organization’s “Speak Off” and went on to win the Illinois BPW “Speak Off” competition. Shortly before departing for Germany and being hired by DoDDS, Linda won the National BPW Speak Off in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Linda worked with DoDDS from 1978-2010. During her three decades of work with DoDDS, she worked in Germany, Bahrain, mainland Japan, Okinawa, and Guam. Linda earned a Master’s Degree from the University of South Florida, taught English and Social Studies, served as a Library/Information Specialist, Assistant Principal, and Principal. In the early 1990’s, Linda was actively involved with PTA, serving locally on PTA boards, and as European PTSA (ECAPTS) President. She also served on the National PTA Board of Directors.
In 2004, Linda was recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, as DoDEA Principal of the Year. In 2017, Linda was asked to help with updating the AOSHS Membership records and currently serves as Membership Chairperson for AOSHS.
Linda met and married Michael Connelly while working in Germany. They are now retired in Honolulu, Hawaii. One of their annual travel highlights is attending the DoDDS Reunion, where they reconnect with friends…and make new ones!
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.
Dr. Bresell’s first teaching position was in the Lehigh Valley. 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. Her principalships in Germany included Gelnhausen ES, followed by Frankfurt ES, and Wuerzburg MS. Although she helped open the middle school in Wuerzburg, she was promoted to Superintendent, Stuttgart District, so she never really got to enjoy the fruits of her labor.
Nancy then left the Stuttgart/Wuerzburg District in 1996 to take over the Japan District for one year and then moved on to be the Area Director for DoDDS-Pacific. For 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 then 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, Dr. Bresell always admired the work of AOSHS and helped the organization whenever she could. Nancy now proudly serves on the AOSHS Board and works with other committed educators to preserve the history and culture of the overseas schools.
Ron was raised in Kansas and graduated from Kansas State University in 1968. He joined the Air Force and his first assignment was in Berlin, Germany. He and his wife, Glenna, were stationed there for 3 years before returning to the states in 1972. Glenna taught for 2½ years in the Berlin American High School and Ron was assistant basketball coach for the 1971-72 season.
After returning to the states, Ron worked in Missouri and Illinois before returning to Wichita, Kansas. After retiring in 2011 Ron was called to work at the AOSHS office as an Archivist and has improved both the physical appearance of the building and accomplished the daunting task of organizing the storage of many AOSHS archive boxes. Glenna also volunteered her time to assist in the inventorying of the boxes.
Ron and Glenna now reside in Manhattan, Kansas, and Ron serves as Treasurer for the organization. He also works remotely to input box inventories into AOSHS office records.
Douglas S. Kelsey received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Baker University (1968) and his Masters in Mathematics from Emporia State, KS (1973). 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 1995-1996 school year, Doug 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. Doug remained there until 2002, when he became Deputy Director of Education for Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS). In October 2003, he was promoted to Deputy Director, DDESS.
Mr. 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. Doug retired from DoDEA in January 2010.
Immediately following his DoDDS 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. Doug and Darlynn are the proud parents of three DoDDS graduates: Shandy (Fulda American HS), Leisha (Ramstein American HS), and Ja’Ney (Aviano American HS).
Rebecca, a native of Maryland, had over thirty-three years with DoDDS. She began her career in Spangdahlem, Germany and retired while working at the Mediterranean District Superintendent’s Office in Vicenza, Italy. She taught at eight different locations and served in three district offices. Although her first love is teaching mathematics, Rebecca also taught middle school science, social studies, and even conducted a seminar class on cardboard carpentry.
During her career, Ms. Dunn was a school administrator in all configurations from K-8 to high schools and a district level liaison for mathematics and school improvement. Some might say she couldn’t keep a job, but Rebecca would say she was always looking for a new challenge!
Upon retiring, she taught GED classes at a prison near her home in Salisbury, Maryland. Rebecca is honored to serve as AOSHS’s Historian, looks forward to new challenges, and is happy to work with DoDEA colleagues again.
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.
Kelley and Bob 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, and was a District Office Communications Liaison in Okinawa. Germaine was also selected as the Okinawa Teacher of the Year and is one of the founding members of the Pacific Congress of the Parents and Teachers Association (PCAPTS), President of PCAPTS and Board of Directors for National PTA. Their two daughters, Lera and Ilana, were born in Bamberg, (West) Germany and lived overseas with them until they were a junior and senior in high school.
Ms. Germaine served on numerous overseas and stateside national advisory boards while residing overseas. Since her retirement in 2001, she has volunteered for local community boards as well as the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Kelley and Bob now live in North Carolina between the beach (Oak Island) and Chapel Hill.
Bob left Connecticut in 1974 after studying Mathematics, Sports Science, and Economics. He graduated with a Bachelors and Masters from the University of Connecticut. During this timeframe, he also 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. Bob 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 this time, he met his wife, Kelley. In 1981, he dragged her away from her advertising/marketing executive job of over a decade 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 most importantly to the couple, the work they do for AOSHS.
Jackie retired after 43 years of teaching with DoDDS in Okinawa and Germany, the Navajo Reservation, and several state side schools. She was a classroom teacher, reading specialist, and educational technologist. Originally from the Bronx, NY, Jackie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education and Art from Edgewood College, WI, a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching(Reading) from Fordham University, NY, an Educational Specialist degree in Computer Education, Nova Southeastern University, FL, and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston University, MA.
Now living with her dog, Rosie, Jackie has become a local Vermont artist exhibiting work in Manchester, VT and Bennington, VT. Occasionally, she works part-time as an area coordinator for Westat (NAEP) testing in Southern Vermont and the Albany areas, is an elected member of the Bennington School Board and Southern Vermont Career Development Center, and is a Governor appointed trustee for Vermont State Veterans’ Home.
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. His MBA from the College of William and Mary led to a business career in VA, NY, and now in Denver, CO.
While Chris may not have become an educator, his family stays closely tied to educational roots. His father, Al Kyrios, dedicated 40 years of DoDDS service in Berlin, Rochefort, Bremerhaven, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, and Wiesbaden. Chris’s sister, Lisa, taught at Nurnberg, and Chris’ oldest son, Alex, is a librarian (his other son became a lawyer).
For 30+ years Chris has been active with the Karlsruhe HS Alumni Association, Overseas BRATs, and more recently, with AOSHS. Kyrios has also been involved in Brats Without Borders as well as with producers of the movie, Brats, Our Journey Home. Chris enjoys sharing his “businessman’s point of view” to the board!
Elementary Education was the primary focus of Joel’s career as he received his Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and continued to gain his Master’s degree from ISU in Elementary Administration. Joel began teaching as an elementary teacher in DeWitt, Iowa (1977-1984) and joined DoDDS (resulting from a conversation with his Army brother) in 1984 teaching at Sigonella Naval Air Station as an elementary and high school science teacher (1984-1994). He and his family transferred to Aviano Air Force Base where he began his role in administration (1994-1999). Joel continued as a Principal at West Point (1999-2003), Community Superintendent at Fort Bragg (2003-2005), Education Chief in DDESS (2005-2008) and multiple leadership assignments at DoDEA HQ in Education and Policy (2008-2014).
Joel and his wife, Vicki, retired in 2014 to their ‘BreezyPoint’ Farm in Iowa and now manages its twenty acres plus Vicki’s family farm of 460 acres. They have three children, Jamey (Julie), Andy (Kelly), and Abby (Ross). Grandchildren Ella, Benjamin, Millie, and Hugo keep them busy traveling to locations around the globe and hosting them on the farm. Due to the influence of DoDEA life, travel is a major activity with many new places to visit in the U.S. and around the world.