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Schools Fully Staffed with Latest Appointments

August 8, 2002

As the new school year is set to begin, a number of schools will have new principals, and there will be new administrators in the Alexandria Public school system’s central office.

"I am pleased to be able to promote so many qualified professionals within our school system,” said Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry. “I am confident that this great team will lead our schools well during this school year and beyond.”

There will be new principals at Cora Kelly School for Math Science and Technology, Jefferson-Houston School for Arts and Academics, Maury Elementary School, George Mason School and the Minnie Howard Ninth-Grade Center.

Darin Reed was named to lead Cora Kelly earlier in the summer. The vacancy at George Mason was created when Dr. Lois Berlin, the school’s principal, was promoted to the post of associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction. The new principal is Nancy Sparks, the former assistant principal at Douglas MacArthur and James K. Polk.

“Bittersweet is a good way to describe how I feel,” Berlin said. “I am thrilled with my new job and am looking forward to working with all of the schools in the city. It was easier for me to leave George Mason knowing that it will be in such good hands. I am confident that Nancy will do a wonderful job for the children and parents at George Mason.”

Berlin’s new job will entail supervising all of the issues related to curriculum throughout the system. “I have been in Alexandria for a long time and have enjoyed all of my jobs,” she said. “I loved being in the classroom but welcomed the challenge of taking the skills that I had developed working with children and using them to help teachers work with students. Now I am going to enjoy using the skills that I have learned over the years as a principal and using them to work with principals throughout all of our schools.”

SOME OF THE new initiatives in curriculum will involve computer-aided learning. “We are going to pilot a number of programs in several schools,” Berlin said. “Computer-aided learning is just another way to give children the skills that they need to succeed.”

Berlin will also be closely involved in designing the new educational program for Minnie Howard and T. C. Williams. “Secondary expansion is certainly on all of our minds,” she said. “I’m sure that will keep us all busy.”

Kristine Ruscello, the assistant principal at John Adams Elementary School, will become the new principal at Maury. Before coming to John Adams two years ago, Ruscello served as an assistant principal in Manassas, Va. She replaces Linda Goldberg, who was at Maury for only one year.

Glenda Washington will lead Jefferson-Houston. She has most recently been the principal of Friendship Edison Junior Academy and assistant principal of Friendship Edison Chamberlain Academy, charter schools located in Washington, D.C. Before that, she was the assistant principal at Roosevelt Junior High School in Charleston, W.Va.

MINNIE HOWARD will have an acting principal because Dr. Margaret Walsh, the school’s current principal, will become the executive director of secondary programs. Walsh’s associate principal, Randy Mitchell, will assume this position.

“I am very pleased that we could promote so many of our fine staff,” said Dr. Stephen Kenealy, a member of the city’s School Board. “It is the first time in quite a long while that we have had such an opportunity. I think that it is important to promote our staff and send a clear message that there is opportunity for upward mobility here.”

There are also a number of new assistant principals throughout the system. Keisha Boggan will become an assistant principal at George Washington Middle School. She taught social studies at G.W.

Judy Burton, a teacher at Douglas MacArthur, will become the assistant principal at Cora Kelly. Loretta Scott, a teacher at Cora Kelly, will become the assistant principal at Samuel Tucker Elementary School.

“These appointments will only enhance the district’s role as an educational leader in the 21st century,” said V. Rodger Digilio, a School Board member.