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News Release


Release No: 570-00
September 15, 2000


Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy Alphonso Maldon Jr. today announced the selection of Joseph Tafoya as the new director of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). The selection was made through a competitive process that included the participation of military members, parents, teachers, school board members, unions and senior DoD officials. The appointment takes effect on Sept. 24, 2000. Tafoya will replace Ray Tolleson who has served as DoDEA's interim director since August 1999.

Maldon said, "DoD schools have been enjoying the great success achieved under Ray Tolleson's leadership, and we look forward to continued strong relationships with our military partners and families under Joe Tafoya."

Tafoya said, "I am excited about the challenge of leading DoDEA. Ray Tolleson has done a great job of strengthening relationships with the people we serve. I plan to continue that emphasis and have three early goals: continue to strive for academic excellence, continue building partnerships at all levels, and continue moving resources closer to the schools."

Tafoya, who has served as DoDEA's deputy director for Defense Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools since October 1999, has also been acting as the DoDEA associate director for Education for the past two months. He came to DoDEA from the Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Ana, Calif., where he most recently served as deputy superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. In this position, he provided leadership and supervision in all aspects of the instructional program in the eighth largest school district in California, with more than 55,000 students in 48 schools. Tafoya also served as the assistant superintendent for Secondary Schools from 1990 to 1995.

Before assuming his leadership positions in Santa Ana, Tafoya served as a principal and assistant principal with the San Diego City Schools for sixteen years at the elementary, middle and secondary levels. He began his career in education as a teacher with the San Diego City Schools in 1969.

Tafoya received his doctorate in Educational Administration from Northern Arizona University in 1983. He also attended San Diego State University, where he earned a Masters in educational administration and a bachelors in math and physical education.

For more information about DoDEA, visit: http://www.dodea.edu .

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