Reilly Takes Reins at McLean High School

Reilly Takes Reins at McLean High School

New principal comes from Herndon High School.

— Ellen Reilly has been named principal at McLean High School, replacing Dr. Deborah Jackson, who left in July. Reilly comes to McLean High from Herndon High School, where she served as an assistant principal.


Ellen Reilly, new principal at McLean High School.

She previously served as an assistant principal at Oakton High School, and as an American Sign Language teacher at Falls Church High School and Mantua Elementary School.

“As an assistant principal, Ms. Reilly led the English Department in standards-based instructional practice methods which resulted in the creation and use of common assessments in English for all grade levels,” said Marty Smith, Fairfax County Cluster One assistant superintendent. “She also created and organized a Wellness program for students and staff at Herndon High School.”

Reilly says she believes that it is important for the students to balance schoolwork with the wide range of activities and organizations offered at the school.

“Part of being a community includes your participation in the various co- and extracurricular activities we offer, while balancing your class work,” she wrote in her welcome letter to the McLean community. Reilly also said in her letter that she hopes to stay involved with the school community in as many ways as possible.

“People are excited to see her walking the halls, visiting classrooms and at the football games meeting the Highlander community,” said Loretta D’Ermes, president of the McLean High PTSA. “Many parents look forward to her sessions she is planning, at which parents will be able to express their thoughts, concerns and expectations. She is very receptive to the programs and initiatives that the PTSA has planned for this year and seems to have a genuine interest in student wellness in addition to academic success.”

Reilly received her bachelor’s at North Carolina State in history, her master’s at George Mason University in Educational Leadership and is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Tech. She also completed courses in History and American Sign Language at the University of Virginia and American Sign Language at Gallaudet University.