A local elementary school has a bright new face sitting behind the head administrator's chair these days. Oak Hill greeted its newest principal last February, Dr. Amy Goodloe, 33, of Lee's Corner, who replaced Marie Merenda after over 15 years at the school.
Goodloe describes Merenda as "Wonderful to work for," who gave her, "a real opportunity for a leadership role." Oak Hill's newest addition is a tall, soft spoken woman who, despite her age, has a vast knowledge of the teaching system.
GOODLOE, who graduated from Oakton High School in 1991, attended the University of Virginia where she graduated in 1996 with two degrees. Both of the symbols of achievement were in the master's program; one in education, the other in psychological science and teaching. While there she met her husband and the couple now has two children.
After college she went directly into the teaching field, first working at Lee's Corner Elementary. She earned her Doctorate in educational leadership in 2003; and became an assistant principal at Sangster Elementary for five years before taking her previous position as assistant principal at Oak Hill Elementary just over a year ago.
As a part of her new responsibilities she maintains the school's ongoing Gifted and Talented programs — some sponsored by the PTA, and others, like the Odyessy of the Mind, which are international.
"It really helps to have families with such a value on education living in this area," said Goodloe. "I love the staff here and the community is very supportive. That's a very important aspect to our school."
Goodloe sees a bright future for Oak Hill Elementary. A new Chinese language program has just been added to the school. And with China in such a dominant cultural force these days, Goodloe feels that it will be an important language for the next generation to learn. In fact, the more languages a student can master, the better off she feels they will end up. To add to her excitement for the new language program, she recently returned from a trip to Beijing and some of its surrounding areas, which strengthened her appreciation for the world power and what it will have to offer, as well as the differences of education in their school systems.
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Jesse Kraft, who's known Goodloe for over a year, on the subject of her administrative abilities jokes, "Well she bought me breakfast yesterday morning," but adds, "I'm very happy to be here, after I accepted this job I gathered what a good fit this place really was for everyone. Amy adds a large part to that feeling."
Assistant Principal Phyllis Sledge, who is quick to point out that she is not the famous singer, boasts, "She is positive and very forward thinking ... she knows where she is going to take progress."
Judith Evans who's lived in the Chantilly Highlands for 26 years, and Administrative Assistant to all three, states that Goodloe is "... excellent, detailed, thorough, accurate and follows through with every task. She meets all of our needs.
Says Goodloe: "I plans to stay principal for a while, we're really starting fresh this year. We'll get to set new goals, and I'm really looking forward to positive changes and a long career."