Getting To Know ...

Getting To Know ...


Ginny Mahlke of Vienna recently retired as principal of Wolftrap Elementary after 11 years. She has been a Vienna resident for almost 30 years, and she is this week's People Profile.

Number of years in the community: I have lived in the Vienna community since 1977.

Family: My husband, Bob, has lived in the Vienna area since 1971. We were married in 1988. We have two grown children, Bob MacReynolds, who lives in Winston-Salem, N.C., with his wife Sarah, and Bree Bell, who lives in Penderbrook with her husband Aaron. My stepdaughter, Alex Mahlke, is grown and lives in Los Angeles.

Education: I received my bachelor's degree from Hollins College in Roanoke, and my master's degree from the University of Southern California.

Current Profession: On June 30, I retired after 11 years as principal of Wolftrap Elementary School in Vienna. I have worked in education for over 35 years, in California, Ohio, New York, Maryland and Virginia.

Achievements: During my time as principal at Wolftrap, I was a finalist for the Fairfax County Public Schools Principal of the Year and received the Educator of the Year award from Phi Delta Kappa, an educational organization. I have presented at various conferences, both in Fairfax and nationally, but if you ask me my greatest achievement, it would be developing the leadership skills of all the teachers with whom I have worked.

Activities/Interests/Hobbies: As I begin my retirement, I am going to spend more time doing things that bring me joy and energy. I have been lifting weights for a number of years and want to try some pilates and yoga classes. I am taking up knitting again after many years and hope to spend more time cooking than I have lately. I love to read and enjoy puttering in the garden (I wouldn't call myself an accomplished gardener by any means). I also plan to visit my son and daughter-in-law more often, especially since they are expecting my first grandchild in November.

Favorite local place: Cafe Renaissance. We go there when we have a special occasion to celebrate, and I held my daughter's bridesmaid's luncheon there last year.

Community Concerns: I think that anyone who lives in Vienna is concerned about the traffic. I wish I had a solution to offer. In so many ways, Vienna is a small town, but the traffic problems dictate when you go to the store, the post office or even from one end of town to the other.

Local Hidden Treasure: To me, the hidden treasure of Vienna is not hidden at all. It is the entire area surrounding Waters Field. My son played baseball on that field for many years and I used to love sitting in the bleachers, because I could see the heart of the town — the library, Town Hall, the police station, the community center, the fire station, the Bowman House, the playing fields, just to name a few. Sitting in the bleachers at Waters Field makes you feel that you live in a small town even though we are in the heart of a burgeoning metropolitan area.

Personal goals: I look upon retirement as an opportunity to try some different experiences. I still want to work with people, I still need to do something where I feel I make a difference, and I want to focus more on my family than I have for a number of years. As I retired from Wolftrap, I said that I hoped I'd been a good steward of the school for 11 years. My personal goal now is to be a good steward to my family, my community, and to anyone with whom I work or volunteer.

Know of someone who should be acknowledged for his or her accomplishments or contributions to the community? Send People Profile nominations to Jon Whiten at or call 703-917-6422.