It is great to be back in the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) family! I am returning to FCPS after spending the past five years as superintendent of Lynchburg City Schools. My family is also very excited to be back; my two sons will be attending Fairfax High School this year, the same school where I once served as principal. I always dreamed of coming back to FCPS and it is an honor for me to have the opportunity to lead this amazing school system.
I was a career changer, after doing volunteer work in the schools, and began in FCPS as a social studies teacher in 1994. I also served as an assistant principal at Herndon High and an associate principal at Lake Braddock Secondary School before being named principal at Fairfax High School in 2005. In 2009, I was named the cluster assistant superintendent for schools in the Hayfield, West Potomac and Mt. Vernon pyramids.
As your superintendent, I am making Fridays my school days. I want to visit our schools to understand the work and the challenges our teachers, administrators and employees face, to understand what is happening “on the ground” so I can be better informed when making decisions.
I am committed to following through on the work of my predecessor, Dr. Karen Garza, who established Portrait of a Graduate — the 21st century learning model that our system has embraced — that focuses on the skills necessary for our students to succeed in college and beyond. As a school division, we are committed to achieving this goal for every student, in every classroom, in every school. We can we make this vision happen through …
Excellence: We need to make sure every student and family has an excellent experience during their time with us. This also requires our employees to be fully invested in the important work they do every day.
Equity: FCPS is a microcosm of the world with students and families who come from all backgrounds and cultures. We will ensure that all students reach Portrait of a Graduate outcomes by addressing opportunity, access and attainment gaps. Every child, by name and need, can succeed with the proper support.
Effectiveness: We need to ensure that FCPS is being effective and efficient. One step I am taking is to narrow down our strategic plan in order to focus our efforts on achievable priorities that we can do well this year as a school division. We will align our resources to these priorities.
Expectations: I want our employees to love kids. The personal connection that our students feel with their teachers and all of our employees is critical to their success. I want our employees to love teaching and learning which I know will positively impact a child every day, and I want our employees to be professional in their work and role models for our students.
All of the challenges we face as a community and a country can best be solved through public education and FCPS can and will lead the way.
I wish all students, teachers, and parents a very successful school year and I look forward to seeing you in your schools!