Press Releases

Camp Lejeune Elementary School Principal named DoDEA America’s 2021 Principal of the Year
4 Mar 2021

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Yesterday afternoon, the Department of Defense Education Activity recognized Tarawa Terrace Elementary School Principal Leigh Anne Faulkner as the 2021 Principal of the Year for the Americas region. Faulkner, a native of North Carolina, has been the principal of TTES on MCB Camp Lejeune since 2009 and also served as an English teacher at Lejeune High School from 1991 to 1998.

“Teaching our children has been much more difficult this year,” said Col. Todd Ferry, deputy commander for Marine Corps Installations East-MCB Camp Lejeune, during the recognition ceremony. “One of the key things about this school as well as all of our schools on base is that they have been doing it in person every day. Everything they have done has been done in person, safely, during the pandemic.

As the home of expeditionary forces in readiness, the ability for DoDEA schools to remain open for in-person learning during the pandemic has been paramount to our success in maintaining readiness of those Marines and Sailors with school-aged children who are assigned to MCB Camp Lejeune.”

While honored to be named Principal of the Year, Faulkner also recognized what teachers at the elementary school have been able to achieve in the face of a world-wide pandemic.

“I believe we are providing world class education to military children every single day, and this is the culmination and recognition of what these teachers have been able to do this year. We are one of the few schools that have been able to be face to face since day one of the school year,” said Faulkner.

DoDEA recognizes a principal from the Americas, Europe and Pacific regions each year who lead high-quality learning opportunities for students and demonstrate exemplary contributions to the profession, specifically setting high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families, and staff in their learning communities.

For more information on the Principal of the Year nomination and selection process, visit

For imagery from the ceremony, visit