Welcome to Our Newest Principal 2-5-20 at Primary School to Be Named

School News
February 05, 2020

Merrell Dade, who has served as principal of Forestdale Elementary since 2014, has been named as the principal of the new primary school on the McNair Elementary campus.  With the construction of a new school on the McNair Elementary campus to alleviate overcrowding, students and families will be served in two school buildings beginning with the 2020-21 school year. Dade will serve as principal of the school for students in grades PreK-2, while the current principal of McNair Elementary, Melissa Goddin, will serve as principal of the building for students in grades 3-6. 


Dade brings a breadth and depth of experience to this position with 28 years of service in Fairfax County Public Schools.  She has spent six years serving students and families in a primary school as both a teacher and administrator. Prior to her tenure at Forestdale, she served as the principal at Franconia Elementary School for seven years.  She also served as assistant principal at Wakefield Forest and Kings Park Elementary Schools and as a LEAD administrative intern at Lemon Road Elementary. Dade began her career in education as a teacher at Kings Park and Hollin Meadows Elementary Schools.  


Dade earned a Bachelor of Arts in education from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts in new professional studies from George Mason University, and a Master of Education in education leadership from George Mason University.  She was honored in 2017 as the Fairfax County Public Schools Outstanding Principal of the Year.