The Loudoun County School Board gave the final stamp of approval for eight new principals and a new director of transportation this week. Some are new to the county, and others have decades of experience teaching and leading schools in Loudoun.
During the new employee orientation program Friday, Superintendent Eric Williams said he hoped the educators taking on new roles are as excited as he and the board is to have them.
“When I say to new employees, thank you for choosing Loudoun County, their reaction is no thank you for choosing us,” he said. “Well, we are absolutely thrilled that you are here.”
Board Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) offered his own words of welcome at Tuesday’s board meeting when the hires were approved: “To all of the new principals and administrators, welcome to Loudoun County. We’re happy to have you.”
Melissa Logan was hired to lead Frederick Douglass Elementary School, replacing Paula Huffman, who was promoted to the job of supervisor of the school system’s leadership development. Logan comes to Loudoun after teaching and serving in administration at schools in Charles and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.
Julia Burton is the new principal of Steuart W. Weller Elementary in Ashburn, after the school’s previous principal, Janet Platenberg, transferred to serve as principal of Catoctin Elementary in Leesburg. Burton has 33 years of experience in education, holding teaching and administrative positions in Ohio, Iowa and Maryland. Most recently, she served as principal of Hyattsville Elementary School in Prince George’s County, MD.
Susan Ward was named principal of John W. Tolbert Jr. Elementary School, where she’s worked for the past 10 years. She taught third grade, served as an administrative intern and as assistant principal at Tolbert. Prior to working at that school, she taught third grade at Mill Run Elementary School from 2003 to 2006. She takes the reins at Tolbert after its previous principal, Elaine Layman, moved to the position of elementary education supervisor.
Kathryn Clark will move up to principal of Stone Hill Middle School after serving as assistant principal there since 2013. She also served as dean and taught math at River Bend Middle School, and taught math for Roanoke County Public Schools. Clark steps in as principal at Stone Hill after the resignation of Principal Jodi Day, who moved back to her home state of Indiana, according to the school system.
Seldens Landing Elementary School in Lansdowne is getting a new principal. Garett Brazina will take the helm, replacing Tracy Stephens who transferred to Aldie Elementary. Brazina comes to Seldens Landing after four years as principal of Hillside Elementary. Prior to his tenure at Hillside, Brazina held four positions at Mill Run Elementary: classroom teacher, technology resource teacher, administrative intern/dean and assistant principal.
As Brazina moves to Seldens Landing Elementary, Chris Mills will step in as principal of Hillside Elementary School in Ashburn. Mills comes to Loudoun after working for Prince George’s County Public Schools since 1987. Most recently, he served as director of instruction for that school division.
Herman Spenard Mizell was named principal of Meadowland Elementary School in Sterling, following the retirement of Laura Seck. Mizell comes to Loudoun with 15 years of education experience. He taught and served in administrative roles in Suffolk, Montgomery County, Chesapeake and Richmond. Most recently, he served as executive director and school improvement manager for Richmond Public Schools.
Williams and the board also formally welcomed Tinell Priddy as the first principal of the new Academies of Loudoun. It will be another two years before the building is ready for students, but Priddy will spend that time preparing three programs to move under one roof: the existing C.S. Monroe Technology Center and Academy of Loudoun, and the new Academy of Engineering and Technology. She comes to Loudoun with 21 years of experience in STEM education, including as as a teacher instructor at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, and most recently as assistant principal of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County.
The board also hired Michael Brown to serve as the director of transportation, after the former director, Lonnie Reavis, resigned. Brown has served as assistant director of transportation for the past year. Prior to coming to Loudoun, he worked as associate director of pupil transportation for the Virginia Department of Education.