Ramstein Elementary welcomes new principal

Monica Mendoza
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Ramstein American Elementary School teachers welcomed new principal Kathy Downs this week.

Ms. Downs took the helm of the 850-student school, which serves pre-kindergarten through second grade students, Monday. She replaces Dr. Judy Allen, who was named Chief of Staff of the Department of Defense Dependent School’s Isles District in England. Dr. Allen served as principal of the Ramstein school for four years.

Ms. Downs, a 20-year veteran with DODDS, said she is thrilled to join the Ramstein American staff.

“I’ve already heard wonderful things about the staff,” she said.
Ms. Downs comes to Germany from Naples, Italy where she served as an assistant principal for two years. She has lived and worked in Germany two previous times in her career and said she is happy to be back.
Ms. Downs, who has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and early childhood education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, said becoming an educator was in her genes.

“I come from a family of educators, my mom, my dad, several aunts were educators,” Ms. Downs said. “My grandmother was an educator.”
Teachers, children and parents will likely see Ms. Downs this week in classrooms as she takes time to get to get to know everyone, she said.
“This is a school with an excellent reputation,” Ms. Downs said. “I am going to start with lots of listening, watching and learning. From there, we’ll work together on anything that needs to be done.”

Ms. Downs said she is looking forward to meeting parents through organized groups like the PTA or the School Advisory Committee or those who volunteer in the classroom.

“Research tells us that when parents are involved in education, children do much better. The more we can do to build partnerships, the better it is for children. Kids love to see their parents in school, even if it is at lunch or recess. It shows your child you are interested.”

To find out more about Ramstein American Elementary School or to contact the principal: go to, http://www.rams-es.eu.dodea.edu/.