Principals Corner

Dr. Penelope A. Miller-Smith, ED.D. – Elementary School Principal

A recipient of the 2018 DoDEA and DoDEA Europe Principal of the Year Award with a “roll up your sleeves” leadership style, Dr. Penelope A. Miller-Smith is described by colleagues as a highly encouraging and supportive mentor dedicated to developing teacher leaders. Over eighteen years as a school administrator, eight of which have been with DoDEA, Dr. Miller-Smith has stayed true to a philosophy of whole-child education developed over 10 years as both a general and special education teacher.

In 2015, Dr. Miller-Smith spearheaded the rollout of the College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics (CCRSM) curriculum. Administration began classroom visits to model teaching with the new curriculum, and instructors attended one-on-one follow-up meetings with Dr. Miller-Smith to ensure they felt supported and confident in introducing the CCRSM materials. Dr. Miller-Smith and her staff continue working collaboratively to strengthen the vertical and horizontal articulation of CCRSM throughout grade levels. Dr. Miller-Smith’s focus on educating the whole child is reflected in the introduction of a school-wide abuse prevention education program, Speak Up Be Safe, in partnership with her school’s psychologist. Students are also encouraged to take the lead in conservation efforts, and Kaiserslautern Elementary has been honored with the Army Green Boot program recognizing organizations that have taken significant steps to reducing waste.

Dr. Miller-Smith holds a B.A. in Political Science and post-graduate degrees in Elementary Education, Special Education and English as a Second Language from California State University Long Beach, and M.A.s in Evaluation, Measurement, and Research and Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. She is also completed an Educational Specialist degree leading to her doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Miller-Smith has taught in California, Florida, Iowa and Michigan gaining a variety of teaching experience in general education, special education, English as a Second Language, and gifted and talented. Dr. Miller-Smith has taught and been an administrator both at the elementary and secondary school level. In the fall of 2001, she transitioned out of the classroom to work for a charter school management company as an assistant director, where she gained valuable experience working with fifty-seven schools in four different states. Two years later she accepted a director’s position with Mona Shores Public Schools in Muskegon, Michigan. There she oversaw the district’s student services and special education programs. Dr. Miller-Smith joined the DoDEA team in 2010 as principal of Hainerberg Elementary in Wiesbaden, Germany and later moved to Kaiserslautern Elementary in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

The Bahrain community can expect high expectations, visibility, positive communication and active involvement from Dr. Miller-Smith. She is passionate about inspiring and motivating others to make a difference in the lives of students and staff. She is a dedicated educator who listens and supports all stakeholders in the community. You will see her actively engaged at the school and visible in classrooms and throughout the community. She believes strongly in clear communication and wants everyone to be welcome at the school.

Dr. Miller-Smith resides in Bahrain with her husband, Chaplain Donald Smith, and their dog, Chappy. She enjoys traveling, sea kayaking and ballroom dancing.

Bahrain Elementary School Principal – Dr. Penelope Miller-Smith’s Message

Dear Bahrain Elementary School Family

I Am Excited To Welcome Some New Staff To Assist Your Children. There Are Several New Teachers, Paraprofessionals And Support Staff Joining Us Throughout The Building.

Many Diverse Learning Opportunities Are In Place For Your Children This Year. Our Goal Is To Challenge Your Children Intellectually, Help Them Grow Them Socially, And Guide Them Toward Independent Thinking And Problem Solving. As We Strive To Promote Healthy Development In All Aspects Of Each Student’s Life, We Also Strive To Develop A Student Body Of Good Character; Students Who Make Good Choices And Decisions Resulting In Successful And Healthy Outcomes. We Encourage Students To Demonstrate The Best Of Themselves Every Moment Of Every Day And To Make Positive Contributions To Their Classrooms And Grade Levels. We Strive To Instill Within Our Student Body A Sense Of Personal Pride As Well As Love And Collective Pride For Our School. Your Children Will Have Many Opportunities To Display Their Strengths This Year. We Welcome You To Become A Part Of A Successful School Year. Bahrain Elementary School Falcons Soar!

Sincerely, Dr. Penelope A. Miller-Smith, Ed.D.

Elementary Principal, Bahrain School

Ms. Shana D. Seawright – Middle/High School Principal

Ms. Shana Seawright is a native of Easley, South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education History and Geography from Clemson University in Clemson, SC. She went on to further her education at Cambridge College in Boston, MA and received a Master of Arts Degree in Education Administration and a Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Ms. Seawright’s career began as a Social Studies teacher in the Orangeburg Consolidated School District Three in Holly Hill, South Carolina. Upon the completion of her master’s degree, she began her administrative career in Bamberg School District One as the Assistant Principal of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School and later moved to Bamberg Ehrhardt Middle School.

Ms. Seawright is completing her 11th year in DoDEA. She transitioned from public school to DoDEA as an Assistant Principal at Ernest J. King Middle/High School in Sasebo, Japan. Four years later, Ms. Seawright was selected to the administrative team at Zama American High School on Camp Zama Army Base where she completed four “Zamazing” years as the Assistant Principal. In 2016, she moved to Rota, Spain as the middle/high school assistant principal. She is excited to continue her work in the Europe South District as the Principal of Bahrain Middle/High School.

Ms. Seawright believes in the mission of DoDEA to educate, engage, and empower all students to succeed in a dynamic world. She is focused on student-centered instruction and building community through collaborative partnerships, while preparing our students to be college and career ready.

Bahrain Middle/High School Principal – Ms. Shana Seawright’s Message

Dear Bahrain Middle/High School Family, We are looking forward to an exceptional year. This year you will see both familiar and new faces within student and staff populations. Please ensure that you welcome everyone and show them how wonderful our school is.

We will continue to have high expectations for learning, behavior, and overall success. We will use our student performance data to ensure that our school goals are being met and any necessary changes will be made in order to bring about an even stronger focus on improving student achievement. You will be hearing more about these important areas of learning as the school year progresses.

Students, our philosophy regarding behavior centers on three simple words. We believe that if we all work toward being Respectful, Responsible, and Safe, the school day runs smoothly. Remember that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. The way you present yourself to others tells who you are and what you value. Let’s work hard to be respectful towards one another and ourselves. Be responsible by abiding by the rules of the school, turning your work in on time, and keeping your promises. Be safe by looking out for each other and speaking up when you see someone being treated inappropriately. By being respectful, responsible, and safe, success will come naturally and our school will be a positive and productive place for learning!


Ms. Shana D. Seawright

Bahrain Middle/High School Principal

Dr. Yolonda Tabb– Middle/High School Assistant Principal

Dr. Tabb has served students, parents, and educators for over 20 years in various educational arenas. Her passion for education, advocacy, coaching, and providing professional development has led her on a journey across America, the Pacific, and Europe. During her tenure with DoDEA, she has proudly served in Japan, Cuba, Germany, South Korea, and Italy. She has served these communities in the roles of teacher, assistant principal, and Special Education Instructional System Specialist.

Hailing from a military family in Augusta, Georgia, Dr. Tabb started her professional career as a S.T.E.P.S. coordinator for people with developmental disabilities. She understands firsthand the unique needs of military families during transitions and deployments. Dr. Tabb’s education and experiences allow her to comprehend our Military connected students’ educational impact and developmental challenges. She desires to lead others compassionately, effectively, efficiently, and with initiative. Her professional goal is to ensure the intellectual and emotional enrichment of others using her knowledge and experience to help those desiring academic and personal advancement. Dr. Tabb’s educational philosophy is: “Although students may require unique learning strategies, every student is capable of learning. The educator must find the proper key or keys to unlock a student’s learning style.” It gives her immense pleasure to foster this philosophy through leadership.

Dr. Tabb believes that working as a collaborative team, students, parents, and educators, can create a positive environment that aids in student success, nurtures faculty morale, and foster strong community bonds. She looks forward to cultivating and galvanizing relationships with students, teachers, parents, Commands, and other stakeholders within the Bahrain community. Dr. Tabb will embark on this endeavor with a willing spirit and determined attitude.”

Dr. Tabb’s strong belief that all students can and will learn guides her relationships as a leader and advocate for children.”, said Dr. Jeff Arrington, Department of Defense Education Activity – Europe South District Superintendent.

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