School News

New MacArthur Elementary Principal Makes Promise to Community

Photo: ACPS

ALEXANDRIA, VA -Penny Hairston is the new principal of Douglas MacArthur Elementary School. In an open letter to the families of MacArthur’s students dated June 1, she wrote:

Dear Douglas MacArthur Elementary Families,

I am so excited and honored to introduce myself as the new principal of Douglas MacArthur Elementary School.  It has always been my dream to lead a school environment that is truly a community, a home away from home in which every person who walks through the doors feels connected, welcomed, and safe in our learning community.

Over the past 20 years, I have worked in Alexandria City Public Schools as a teacher and as an administrator, but I consider my most important role to be that of a child advocate.   I hope to spend a lot of time getting to know your children as soon as this is possible.  I will celebrate their successes, small and large.  I will encourage them every day and let them know they are valued and have a special place in our school community.

We have a lot to look forward to here at Douglas MacArthur.  We also have a lot of change in our midst.  Change can be unsettling, and I want to assure you that amidst this change in leadership, change in building location and the COVID-19 pandemic, I am committed to Douglas MacArthur Elementary School for the long term.

This summer, I plan to continue to learn the history, culture and programs at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School.  This allows me the opportunity to begin developing personal and professional relationships with many of you.  This time of changing leadership provides an opportunity for Assistant Principals Mr. Geter, Mrs. Pittman and myself to pause and reflect on the strengths, challenges and goals of the Douglas MacArthur learning community, and as well as set specific goals for next year, three years and five years. Together, we will create a trusting, collaborative, innovative, respectful and supportive school culture where teachers want to work, students want to learn, and all families feel welcomed and empowered to help their children succeed.

Once again, I am thankful to have the opportunity to bring all that I have experienced and learned with me back to our wonderful community.   I look forward to getting to know you and your children.   I will be working during the summer to ensure a smooth transition.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Warmest Regards,

Penny Hairston
Douglas MacArthur  Elementary School

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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