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New Faces at McLean High

New principal Deborah Jackson and new assistant principal Christie Taylor kick off the 2007-08 school year.

McLean High School will have several new faces among its faculty members this year, perhaps the most noticeable of which will be that of Deborah “Debbie” Jackson, who is taking over as principal. Jackson replaces Paul Wardinski, who served as McLean’s principal for the last three years, but left this summer to take over as principal at Springfield High School.

Jackson, a 16-year resident of McLean, jumped at the chance to serve as principal of the high school in her own community.

“I thought, oh my God this is a wonderful opportunity for me to give back to my community and come home,” said Jackson.

Paul Wardinski made the decision to leave McLean High School for similar reasons.

“For 22 years in Fairfax County Public Schools, I have been leaving my community to serve others during my tenures at Marshall, Fairfax, Jefferson, and most recently, McLean,” wrote Wardinski in his farewell letter to the McLean community in June. “The move to West Springfield allows me to strike a balance between my professional responsibilities as a community leader and personal desire to serve my neighborhood as a resident and parent. As the principal of West Springfield, it will allow me to follow the priorities that I constantly emphasize to my staff — family and health at the top of the list.”

Prior to coming to McLean High School, Jackson spent seven years as principal of Langston Hughes Middle School. Jackson has also worked as assistant principal of Annandale High School and summer school principal at Frost Middle School and assistant principal at Holmes Middle School. She has held several teaching positions in various Fairfax County Public Schools, and has served as a pre-college planner for Gallaudet University, worked as a research specialist for George Mason University, and as an administrative aide with the Maryland General Assembly.

Jackson said her primary goal in the coming school year is to make sure that McLean High School continues to be a high-ranking, high-achieving educational institution, and she also hopes to push the envelope and aim even higher.

“I want to be part of taking the school to the next level,” said Jackson. “I think McLean is a flagship school that has enjoyed a tradition of excellence, and I want to make sure that continues.”

IN ADDITION, Christie Taylor started as a new assistant principal at McLean High School this year, taking over for Abe Jeffers who recently transferred to Jeb Stuart High School. Prior to being appointed as assistant principal, Taylor worked as a health and physical education instructional specialist at the Lacey Instructional Center of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), and was previously a health and physical education department chair, as well as a science teacher for the Central Bucks County High School East in Pennsylvania, and a health and physical teacher at Poe Middle School and Franklin Middle School in Fairfax County.

“We are delighted to have her join us,” said Helen McNamara, an administrative staff member at McLean High School.

For her part, Taylor is looking forward to being a part of a school community again.

“I’m excited to be back with the community and the students because I can really feel their energy,” said Taylor. “I can already tell this is going to be a fun place to work.”

McNamara said Linda Reid will also join the school’s office support staff, having transferred from Hughes Middle School.

“Back to School Night” for McLean High School will be held on Thursday, Sept. 27 at the school. For more information, visit the McLean High School Web site at www.fcps.edu/McLeanHS.