Outstanding New Principal, Finalists, and School Recipients

The outstanding new principals recognized at 2018 FCPS Honors

2018 Outstanding New Principal 

Amy Miller, Saratoga Elementary School, Region 3

a photo of amy millerAmy has made a huge impact at Saratoga in a very short time. In two and a half years, she’s boosted parent involvement, brought in peer mediation, and developed a culture where teachers are eager to learn new things. SOL scores are up, discipline referrals are down, and some parents who were considering leaving say they are glad they stuck around. “Mrs. Miller brought our school back to life,” said one mom. Colleagues especially praise her remarkable recall of individual circumstances and academic data. This enables quick intervention, something Amy has been known to do herself by personally calling families when a student is struggling.



2018 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Cindy Conley, Irving Middle School, Region 4

a photo of cindy conleyCindy’s willingness to engage everyone – from teachers and students to parents and the community, has helped Irving Middle School thrive during her first year as principal. While she studies each student’s background before making a class assignment, she defers to the parents if they think there is an issue. She encourages students to take ownership of their learning and works with outside partners to assist families in need. She’s also creative in using school resources; classroom walls were stripped down and painted so they could be used as whiteboards. “What makes Cindy Conley outstanding,” said one, “is that she finds exploration exciting and is willing to take the risk to make our school a better place.”


2018 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Eric Johnson, Sleepy Hollow Elementary School, Region 2

a photo of eric johnsonEric combines a desire to celebrate Sleepy Hollow’s accomplishments with a drive to move the school forward. Since his arrival in 2016, he’s expanded the Advanced Academic Program, launched plans for the first outside classroom, brought STEAM lessons to students, and helped boost the school to a 95 percent pass rate on the English and Math SOLs. When the risk of deportation became a real concern for some students last year, Eric not only went classroom to classroom to calm their fears, he taught their classmates how to show compassion. “He is constantly looking for opportunities to enhance not only the academic endeavors of his students,” said one teacher, “but the world in which they live.”


2018 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Jill Stewart, Lake Anne Elementary School, Region 1

a photo of jill stewartJill wants the community to see her school as a partner in raising well-adjusted and well-equipped children. She encourages Lake Anne staff and families to build strong relationships and sets an example with her involvement. Recently, she supplemented regular monthly parent coffees with a “Cafecito,” complete with translators, to help the school’s large Spanish-speaking population keep in touch. Known for hiring great teachers, Jill showcases them at events like the “Best of Reston” Awards and empowers them to take risks. “She never shies away from projects that will enhance instruction,” said one.


2018 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Dustin Wright, Olde Creek Elementary School, Region 5

a photo of dustin wrightDustin has helped transform Olde Creek into a school where people are proud to work. He did it by involving both staff and the community in drafting a three-year improvement plan that is already having an impact. Staff teams now meet biweekly for data-driven discussions about student success, while teachers are encouraged to try new things and often find supportive notes from Dustin in their mailbox. Parents turned out in record numbers when asked for input at his first State of the School meeting, and families have been drawn in by events like “Popsicles with the Principal.” “He is exceptionally passionate about education, said a parent, “and his tireless positive energy is contagious.”


2018 Outstanding New Principal - School Recipients   

  • Bucknell Elementary School
    • LaRonda Peterson
  • Bush Hill Elementary School
    • School Mary Duffy
  • Colin Powell Elementary School
    • Jamie Luerssen
  • Falls Church High School
    • Ben Nowak
  • Flint Hill Elementary School
    • Jennifer Hertzberg
  • Glasgow Middle School
    • Shawn DeRose
  • Haycock Elementary School
    • Jereme Donnelly
  • Herndon Elementary School
    • Teresa Fennessy
  • Holmes Middle School
    • Margaret Barnes
  • Irving Middle School
    • Cindy Conley *
  • Lake Anne Elementary School
    • Jill Stewart *
  • Langley High School
    • Frederick Amico, Jr.
  • Olde Creek Elementary School
    • Dustin Wright *
  • Poplar Tree Elementary School
    • Susan Andujar
  • Providence Elementary School
    • Danny Phillips
  • Saratoga Elementary School
    • Amy Miller *
  • Sleepy Hollow Elementary School
    • Eric Johnson *
  • Twain Middle School
    • Charles Miller
  • Wakefield Forest Elementary School
    • Sharyn Prindle
  • Westfield High School
    • Tony Copeland

*Denotes Region-Level Recipient

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