Loudoun County’s two charter schools began the academic year under new leadership.
Rochelle Proctor is the new principal at Middleburg Community Charter School, and Mark Wertheimer is the new principal at Hillsboro Charter Academy.
Proctor steps in at MCCS after serving seven years as an assistant principal in Fairfax County. She also was on the inaugural staff at Rosa Lee Carter Elementary in Ashburn as a teacher and served as an administrative intern at Little River Elementary in South Riding.
She was selected from a candidate pool of more than 50 applicants. Proctor said she feels like the school is a good fit for her and vice-versa.
“The thing that felt different about this school is that they had a chance to look at all the things we do for kids and build a school that meets the students’ needs specifically. … They have thought through every single piece of what this school should be,” she stated in a press release. “We talk about engaging the community and engaging the teachers and student engagement. This school is really the penultimate example of that. They really live that. That’s so exciting to me. This really is the way a school should be.”
The first line on Wertheimer’s résumé may surprise most. He began his working career as a carpenter. After 15 years working with his hands, he discovered what he calls his true calling, teaching. In an article first published by Loudoun County Public Schools, Wertheimer referred to himself as a “blue-collar principal.” He’s always at the ready to tackle a project around the school.
He comes to Hillsboro after serving eight years as the principal of a charter school in Fort Collins, CO. That experience gives Wertheimer a clear idea of his duties at Loudoun’s second charter school. “My leadership isn’t because I know how to do the school better. They’ve already got that. I’m going to be behind the scenes providing systems so that they can actually operate and not have to worry about all that stuff,” he stated. “They need better lunchroom procedures, need better financial management; the behind-the-scenes systems. I also want to be the relational clearinghouse for this school; between the district and the school within the school, between parents and staff.”
He said the Hillsboro team and his experience is a good match. “It’s a great model. I love what’s going on here.”
Loudoun County’s charter schools are publicly funded schools but operate fairly independently of the county school system. They are run by their own boards of directors that oversee their budgets and their hiring process.
Learn more about the schools at lcps.org/middleburg and lcps.org/hillsboro.