Haycock Elementary School principal Maureen Boland is the type of administrator who is just as likely to be found interacting with students and teachers in the school hallways, as she is to be in her office.
“She really knows instruction,” said Beth Roach, an instructional coach at Haycock Elementary School. “Some principals do and some principals don’t. She knows what student engagement should look like in the classroom, she knows how math needs to be differentiated, and she knows what a reading and writing workshop should look like … she meets regularly with the reading teacher and the support staff, and she’s the kind of principal who is standing in the hallways in the morning when the kids get off the bus.”
Boland was recently nominated by Haycock Elementary School staff and Haycock Parent Teacher Association (PTA) members for the 2008 Outstanding First Year Principal, Nancy F. Sprague First Year Administrator Award from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). The First Year Administrator Award honors Nancy Sprague's leadership in fostering the development of Fairfax County Public Schools administrators. In her honor, the award recognizes outstanding leadership by a beginning principal. Prior to becoming principal of Haycock in 2006, Boland served as assistant principal at the school for several years.
“Maureen is an outstanding principal,” said Kelly Sheers, assistant principal at Haycock Elementary School. “Haycock is a new school in its making. On the outside, it may not seem new at all – most people who pass it notice no difference. Haycock is not new because it is a new building, but because it has a new purpose and operates differently than it did previously thanks to our principal, Maureen Boland. Maureen is central to shaping this new school. She has a genuine interest in our community and has a desire to help others. She is an outstanding principal, mentor, and she inspires me to be a better administrator.”
AN FCPS screening committee will send all nominee recommendations to the FCPS Leadership Team and to the Superintendent of Schools for approval. Each nominee will receive a certificate of recognition. The winner will be awarded a plaque and will be recognized by the School Board at the Principal of the Year ceremony in December, and will also receive a $1,000 grant to be used towards a professional development opportunity.
Haycock PTA president Jeanie Thomas said Boland has started “fantastic initiatives” at Haycock.
“We think she is an amazing principal,” said Thomas.
In her nominating letter to the FCPS screening committee, Beth Roach described Boland as Haycock Elementary School’s “architect who has envisioned the amazing school where we teach.”
“As Haycock’s lead architect, Maureen knows the importance of an architectural drawing that everyone can read and interpret, and one where everything is connected,” wrote Roach. “At Haycock these drawings are a shared vision which has the student centered within the five points of the Haycock Star. Members of the Haycock staff and community know the five points and how important it is to foster each point: a student’s love of learning, sense of hope, sense of community, character development, and academic skills.”
Roach also commended Boland for her positive working relationships with Haycock’s instructional staff.
“Maureen is an advocate for teachers,” said Roach. “Her office door is open and she invites dialogue when teachers have concerns and face challenges. She is a good listener who works with teachers as they problem solve. She is not the person who will solve all the problems, but by asking questions, leads others to resourcefulness.”