With her trusty puppet, Bob the Builder, by her side, Cheryl Toth is ready to start her first year as principal at Forestdale Elementary.
“I really love puppets,” said Toth, who keeps Bob on her desk inside the school’s office.
Toth comes to Forestdale after spending the past two years as an assistant principal at Silverbrook Elementary in Lorton. Prior to that, she spent two years in the Fairfax County Public School system’s Office as the superintendent of elementary school general music program, managing over 200 teachers across the county.
“I’m really excited to be here,” said Toth, who has been in her office at Forestdale for about two months. “This is very new and exciting for me, it’s very much a dream come true.”
A native of Northern Virginia, Toth was born in Prince William County and graduated from Osbourn Park High School. She now lives in Centreville with her husband, Ron, and their two youngest daughters, Jackie, 17, and Abby, 15. Their oldest child, Stacy, does not live at home.
Toth said she is following in her father’s footsteps by becoming an administrator.
“My dad was a principal,” she said. “He worked as an educator in the Prince William County school system, when I was younger. When I told him I got this job, the first thing he asked me was when I would get my keys. He was very proud.”
Toth said she hopes to follow in the footsteps of her predecessor, Terri Cavender, by continuing the school’s success and focus on building character in all students.
“I’m very excited about welcoming the community in to the school,” she said. “Miss Cavender created a wonderful environment where teachers worked together … We want to keep that momentum going.”
The most important program to continue, Toth said, is the Community of Caring initiative, in which students and teachers are taught to show respect to everyone in the building, from teachers and staff members to fellow students.
“Forestdale is this wonderful little school, tucked away in a corner,” she said. “If we find new programs we want to try to keep the school special or working better, we’ll do that together with the support of and impute from the community.”
Outside of school, Toth said she enjoys scuba diving and playing golf, a hobby she’s recently learned. She also likes to read books, especially mysteries.