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Navy Rear Admiral Seiko Okano Shares Inspiring Lesson in Leadership

Indian Creek Upper School enjoyed an inspiring conversation with Rear Admiral Seiko Okano of The United States Navy at today's school meeting.

A native of Evanston, Illinois, Rear Admiral Okano is a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. She earned a Master of Science in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Her operational tours include Gunnery and Fire Control Officer and Electrical Division Officer on USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3) which she deployed to Somalia, and Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Flag Aide in Okinawa, Japan. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, she served on Joint CREW Composite Squadron ONE in Tikrit, Iraq, to assist with defeating radio-controlled IEDs. As an Engineering Duty Officer since 2001, Okano had a number of tours in acquisition, starting with SPAWAR Systems Center, the Missile Defense Agency, Military Satellite Communications Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center; and Naval Surface Warfare Center. Moving to the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), Okano was the major program manager for Above Water Sensors (PEO IWS 2) overseeing the development and sustainment of all surface radars, electronic warfare systems, and directed energy programs. Okano’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and various other individual, and unit campaign and service awards. 

During her presentation, Rear Admiral Okano shared the story of her journey from being a high school swimmer who wanted to become an astronaut to her position today. Two key messages from her talk with the students were that being unafraid of failure and emphasizing who you choose to surround yourself with are important factors in our lives and outcomes.

Okano also shared some leadership tips - and a reading list - with ICS students.  Quoting the book Legacy, by James Kerr, she explained to the students that culture = values + behavior.  This helped students to reflect on how the School's community's continual behavior is what defines the culture of kindness, well-being, and educational excellence. 

Thank you to Rear Admiral Okano for a transformative visit, which introduced ICS students to a fascinating careers path and a true leader.
Indian Creek school is a co-educational, college preparatory independent school, located in Crownsville, Maryland.  Students in Pre-K3 through grade 12 receive a vibrant educational experience based on excellent academics steeped in strong student-teacher connections.