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Popular McLean High School Principal Departs for Promotion

Deborah Jackson leaving after five years on the job

The popular principal of sent a note to parents this afternoon saying she would be leaving the post to take a new job within Fairfax County Public Schools.

Deborah Jackson said in a note to parents this afternoon she would be leaving McLean High School effective July 2 to take on a role as the new Special Project Administrator for Fairfax County Public Schools.

Jackson came to McLean about five years ago and quickly became a popular figure in the McLean community, home to one of the most sought-after schools in Fairfax County.

"I will be working in collaboration with the Employee Performance and Development staff in the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Leadership Development and Professional Learning and Accountability to develop district wide assessments.  Although I will greatly miss the Highlander community, I am quite honored by this appointment and look forward to serving the greater Fairfax County Public Schools community," she wrote.

Jackson said a search for her replacement will begin soon. Marty Smith, Assistant Superintendent for Cluster I, will provide details within the next few days, and information will be posted on the school’s homepage, she said.

The full text of Jackson's note is below:

Dear Highlander Families,
 
I am writing to announce that I will be leaving McLean High School, effective July 2, 2012. I have been selected as the new Special Project Administrator for Fairfax County Public Schools. I will be working in collaboration with the Employee Performance and Development staff in the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Leadership Development and Professional Learning and Accountability to develop district wide assessments.  Although I will greatly miss the Highlander community, I am quite honored by this appointment and look forward to serving the greater Fairfax County Public Schools community.

My tenure at McLean HS has taught me the true meaning of community support for public education. II have been impressed with every aspect of the quality of the students, the school and our community.  I am extremely proud of the work we accomplished during my five years in the “Principal’s Office.”   Building on the Highlander legacy, we have been steadfast in our mission of providing a high quality education for all students. 

Over the course of five years, we:

  • Focused on fostering an environment of collaboration between students, parents, teachers and community;
  • Increased opportunities for student leadership and mentoring other students via our freshman transition and Mcleadership programs;
  • Created an environment where students participated in service learning projects such as raising awareness of global issues of hunger  and poverty throughout the world;
  • Provided increased access to technology for students, teachers and staff by opening new computer labs to support Mathematics, World Languages, and our new Writing Center;
  • Continued high expectations for academic success, achieving the status of the Top 100 schools in the United States and receiving the VADOE Board of Education Governor and Excellence Award for the past five years;
  • Increased the number of students competing and excelling at the state and national level in  theater, music, art, business, world languages, and athletics;
  • Renewed and renovated our campus by opening a new entrance to our stadium, new carpet in the foyer and media center, new signage on Davidson and Westmoreland entrances, and finally a new turf field with the assistance of our parent organizations (PTSA and boosters), lacrosse community, Janie Strauss (School Board) and John Faust (Board of Supervisors Dranesville District;

 Schools are not defined by the principals who lead them; schools are defined by the dedicated administrators and staff members who work daily to provide a world-class education for all students.  They are defined by parents who give freely of their time and resources to enrich the educational environment. Most importantly, schools are defined by the students we nurture and educate.
 
The process for selecting a new principal will begin soon.  Marty Smith, Assistant Superintendent for Cluster I, will provide details within the next few days. It the information will be posted on the school’s homepage.  I am confident that you and Mr. Smith will identify a new principal to carry on the high standards of McLean High School.  The “Tradition of Excellence” at McLean HS will continue..
 
Thank you for supporting me these past five years and allowing me to lead this great school.  My new position will keep me connected to McLean HS, and I will continue to support this community.  As I look back on the past five years with fond memories, I know that I will always be part of the Highlander Family.
 

Mozart July 03, 2012 at 09:07 PM
We will miss Dr. Jackson. She was great at maintaining regular communications with parents; showing up at what seemed like every school sports/music/theatre event; and establishing a positive - but no-nonsense - tone at the school.
Rob Jackson July 04, 2012 at 02:20 PM
While my kids attend(ed) Langley High School, I did get to meet and work with Dr. Jackson through the McLean Citizens Association and the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce. She is one terrific person. Glad she's staying in Fairfax County.

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