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Superintendent Dale Visits Terreset Elementary

After reading a picture book to a group of about twenty Kindergarten through second-grade students at Terraset Elementary, Dr. Jack Dale, the county’s superintendent, answered a few questions. The most difficult came from a student near the back row: “Is it fun to be the boss?”

“Yes, because I get to come in and do this sort of thing,” said Dale, who became superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools in July of last year.

Dale, who lives in Reston, visited Terraset Monday, accepting an invitation to meet some of the students, see a bit of their work, and be a guest on its student-run morning television show.

Ellen Cury, principal of Terraset, made sure that Dale “got a little taste” of Terraset. “We’re able to show off all the wonderful learning that goes on,” Cury said of the opportunity to host Dale’s visit for the morning.

Dale, who runs the twelfth largest school system in the nation, tries to find opportunities to visit schools to get a closer perspective. “Whenever you want to remind yourself what it’s all about, you come to an elementary school,” said Dale. “Anytime I visit a school, it’s great to see what’s happening. You can see all the great programs in action.”

For Alex Turner, a sixth grader and a student news anchor in the school’s morning TV show, Dale was a major interview. “I’m nervous,” Turner said just before the show went on the air. Before the show, Turner also had to decide which tie to wear, the one with the frog print or the flag print. He went with the frog print.

Turner’s interview revealed that Dale went to elementary school in Seattle, Wash. and that he enjoyed reading the Harry Potter books. “I’m waiting to read the next installment,” Dale said.

Josie Stanmyre, the school’s librarian who supervises the daily TV show, helped organize Dale’s visit. “I’m really glad [Dale] came here,” she said. “We’re an older school, but nothing stops us from doing a good job.”