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Deployed reservist named school principal

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Rich Curry
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing
For many deploying reservists this one questions rests at the back of their mind while they are away serving their country.

But for Major Bill Pierce, a 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Officer, the answer is not only "Yes" but also "You've been promoted." The Putnam City Board of Education in Putnam City, Oklahoma, voted unanimously to hire Major Pierce as principal at Kirkland Elementary School for the upcoming school year.

Pierce is currently serving at Joint Base Balad, Iraq serving as the 332nd Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Officer and will return this summer. "I had no idea I was going to be named principal," the major said via e-mail interview. "I interviewed over the phone last month (May) along with everyone else competing for the position. I work with a lot of very qualified administrators. I consider it an honor to be associated with them."

Last school year Pierce served as assistant principal at Wiley Post Elementary School. Before going to Wiley Post, Pierce served for one year as an administrative intern at Western Oaks Elementary School and two years as newspaper and yearbook advisor at Putnam City High School. He holds a master's degree in business administration from Oklahoma City University and a bachelor's degree in journalism and advertising from the University of Central Oklahoma.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA, 38 U.S.C. § 4301 - 4335 ) is a federal law intended to ensure that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or other "uniformed services" are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service; are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty; and are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service.

Pierce relayed he had been notified of his promotion via a text message from his superintendent June 1. "I am privileged to work for such a great district and honored to be named Kirkland's principal. I am looking forward to serving the students, parents, and teachers there," he said.

The major said that when he entered the education field his goal was to teach and then go into elementary administration. "The Putnam City school district was my number one choice," he said. He stated he realized the first part of his dream in 2005 when he joined the district as a teacher. "The other part of that wish became a reality June 1st. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful district standing behind me, my Air Force career, and especially my family. My staff, co-workers, and leadership have been nothing but supportive of my military deployment."

Pierce finished stating, "My goal is to get back home, reunite with my family, and get to work come August. I'm looking forward to getting back to the states and meeting the students, staff, and parents. My Air Force career has prepared me to lead. I get to live and teach the Air Force core values everyday to my staff and students. It's going to be a great year."