Western Albemarle High School Principal Announces Retirement
Albemarle County Public Schools Press Release
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Dave Francis, who has served as the principal at Western Albemarle High School since 2008, said he will retire at the end of the current school year, on June 30. Mr. Francis' distinguished career includes 42 years as an educator in Virginia, including 23 years as a high school principal.
"Western Albemarle is an exceptional school. The opportunity to work with so many talented and devoted professionals on the faculty and our staff and to work with so many wonderful students is a rare privilege," Mr. Francis said.
Western graduates consistently score at very high levels in on-time graduation rates, the earning of advanced studies diplomas, and SAT test scores. "What really is impressive for me is to be part of a team effort that has seen our teachers and students grow in so many different ways—not just academically, but in athletics, the arts, and their community service," Mr. Francis said. "These all are experiences and skills for lifelong success," he added.
Dr. Matt Haas, Albemarle County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Organizational and Human Resource Leadership, said those achievements at Western Albemarle High School underscore the value of Mr. Francis' "steady and consistent leadership over many years."
"Dave's appointment as principal almost exactly coincided with a very difficult period for our division as the result of the financial crisis of 2008-09. We underwent several reductions in personnel and programs, and Dave's experience and guidance were significant assets for the Western Albemarle community," Dr. Haas said.
Dr. Haas will head up the recruitment process for a new principal, and he said a search committee that will invite the participation of community residents will begin immediately. It is expected that a new appointment will be made prior to the end of June.
Mr. Francis began his career in education as a social studies teacher in 1969. He was appointed first as a high school principal in Goochland County in 1986. He subsequently served as a high school principal in Mecklenburg and Nelson counties. He first retired in 2004, but came out of retirement to join Western Albemarle High School in 2004 as an assistant principal.
Mr. Francis is a graduate of West Virginia University and holds a Master's of Education degree from James Madison University and an Ed.S. (Education Specialist) degree from the University of Virginia.
"It has been an honor and a joy to serve the Western Albemarle community, but it is time to make some changes in my life. At the top of my list is spending more quality time with a very special family that includes two wonderful granddaughters," Mr. Francis said.