The last key position in the central office of the Alexandria City Public School system has been filled. Cathy David has been named director of elementary education programs.
Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry made the appointment earlier this month although it was anticipated last year. It was deferred for a year because of the unexpected resignation of David’s assistant principal at Samuel Tucker Elementary School last summer. Now, however, it is official and she will assume her new position on July 1.
David is leaving Tucker with a great deal of sadness. “It is very emotional,” she said. “I was sad to leave Charles Barrett and I am sad to leave Tucker. I will miss the staff, the children and the parents. We have all worked closely together to build a joint vision of what this school has become and the person who is hired to work with all of these people is going to be very lucky.”
David worked with the community to design the education program and the building into which it fits. She selected the entire staff and has been the principal at Alexandria’s first new school in three decades since it opened in the fall of 2000. Before that, she served as principal at Charles Barrett Elementary School for five years.
A native Alexandrian, David attended Maury Elementary School, Jefferson Junior High School and graduated from George Washington High School in 1967. She received her bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary and her master’s at George Mason University. Before taking an administrative position, she taught fifth grade at William Ramsay Elementary School.
David said she decided to accept this new challenge because she wanted to work with all of the 13 elementary school principals to make the system the best that it can be.
“We need to work toward standardization of some things across the system while still retaining the individual character of each school.
“The system is on a roll, driven by the Virginia SOLs and now by the new No Child Left Behind requirements. With our transient population, we need to look at standardizing curriculum pacing throughout the system. Many of our students spend time in a variety of schools. By paying particular attention to our youngest children, we can improve student achievement and meet our accreditation goals.”
PARENTS AND School Board members are applauding David’s appointment. “Of concern to many parents is the seeming lack of continuity in curriculum at the elementary and into the middle school grades,” said Michelle Brandon, outgoing PTA Council president. “Levels of proficiency can vary from one school to another. We are heartened by Ms. David’s new position as director of elementary education programs. Her knowledge of the mobility factors in/out and within our school system and her success as an elementary school principal will be assets to the entire school system.”
School Board Chairman Mark Eaton agreed. “Her knowledge and abilities will be an asset to the entire system,” he said.