Western Albemarle High School Names New Principal

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Albemarle County Public Schools

New Principal Named for Western Albemarle High School

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Dr. John W. Werner, who has served as a high school principal in Virginia since 2008, has been appointed to succeed Dave Francis as the principal of Western Albemarle High School effective July 1 of this year.

Dr. Werner's appointment follows an exhaustive search process that included interviews and a community online survey that asked residents in western Albemarle communities about those qualities that were most important in the next Western Albemarle High School principal.

The school division's search committee surveyed nearly 4,000 families in its western feeder pattern. Among the qualities respondents identified as most valuable in a new high school principal were strong communications and educational skills, being a visionary, and being able to facilitate and manage change.

"We are very pleased to have a leader with John's proven strengths join the Western Albemarle community in such an important role," said Dr. Matthew Haas, an assistant superintendent for Albemarle County Public Schools and the chair of the search committee. The committee included administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students.

"When you review John's record, two characteristics boldly stand out: Students improve their academic achievement, and John is the designer of some highly innovative development programs for both teachers and students," Dr. Haas said.

Among innovative opportunities for the new principal will be a decision on a new center of excellence to be located at Western Albemarle High School. Four years ago, Albemarle High School unveiled its Math, Engineering & Science Academy (MESA), and this year, Monticello High School began its Health and Medical Sciences Academy. A decision is expected later this year on a learning academy at Western Albemarle that would begin operations in the fall of 2014.

"It truly is an honor to be joining such a wonderful community in Western Albemarle," Dr. Werner said. "I was impressed with the community's vision for preparing students for 21st century learning and career success. I am eager to work with Western Albemarle parents, a very hard-working faculty, and dedicated students who love education. There are so many opportunities for excellence in front of us," Dr. Werner said.

Dr. Werner currently is in his second year as the principal at Osbourn High School, which has 2,100 students, in the Manassas City Public Schools division. Prior to that, he was the principal of Clarke County High School for three years. Dr. Werner also served for seven years as an assistant high school principal for three Fairfax County public schools. He began his academic career as a social studies teacher at Herndon High School in Fairfax County and coached boys and girls track and football.

He holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in history, a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University, and a Master's Degree and Licensure in Educational Administration and K-12 Leadership, also from George Mason. Dr. Werner received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Werner succeeds Dave Francis, who has served as the principal of Western Albemarle High School since 2008 and will complete 42 years as an educator in Virginia, including 23 years as a high school principal, when he retires on June 30.