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Column: Graduate to Lead Reston’s South Lakes High

Three weeks ago a friend at South Lakes tipped me there was going to be a ceremony the next morning to announce and introduce the school’s new principal. My friend would not tell me who the new principal was. It was a big secret!

It turned out to be a wonderful surprise for me and many others. A crowd of perhaps fifty teachers and staff gathered in a South Lakes cafeteria filled with an air of excitement. Assistant Superintendent for the South Lakes region, Fabio Zuluaga, played the role of the excited emcee to make the introduction. He spent a few minutes describing the exhaustive process of selecting the new principal. Then, he proudly gestured to the double entry doors so that outgoing Principal Bruce Butler and incoming Principal-to-be Kim Brophy Retzer could make their entrance together. The response of the small audience was enthusiastic prolonged clapping and cheering for both of them.

The waiting was over. South Lakes was rewarded by the return of one of their very own. Kim Brophy graduated from South Lakes in 1989. Subsequently, Kim taught at South Lakes, then worked as an Assistant to Bruce Butler before going to Westfields High also as Assistant Principal. Now, established as a rising talent in the Fairfax County Public Schools, Kim Brophy Retzer was returning to her school and her community.

Kim is pure Reston. She attended Dogwood Elementary and Langston Hughes Middle School before going on to South Lakes. Not only did she graduate from South Lakes with a superb academic record, but she was also the recipient of the Faculty Award (voted by the faculty for outstanding leadership and citizenship) and was elected President of the Senior Class by classmates.

Kim is the eldest of three children of an amazing Reston family. Her dad, Arthur Brophy, is a retired CIA Officer. Her mother, Sharon Brophy, is an ardent South Lakes Seahawk who has been part of the school administration for 27 years. Kim’s younger sister, Kathleen, graduated from South Lakes in 1993, and brother Brian graduated from there, in 1998. Both Kathleen and Brian also were Presidents of their respective senior classes and recipients of the Faculty Award. Indeed a remarkable Reston family!

Welcome back home, Mrs. Retzer. We wish you all the best in your new role as the Principal of South Lakes High School.