No principal left behind


Deirdre Lavery is one school principal who will not be left behind. Thats how the audience felt after she spoke with Rotarians at their weekly meeting on April 4 at the Athens Restaurant in Baileys Crossroads.    

Mrs. Lavery, the principal of Glasgow Middle School in Alexandria leads a creative staff responsible for the education of approximately 1,200 students in grades 6-8. They reflect the diverse cultures of the Baileys Crossroads community. Thirty-seven percent are Hispanic, 30 percent are white, 21 percent are Asian, and 12 percent are black.   

And Glasgow is not your run-of-the-mill school. It is one of only a handful of Fairfax County middle schools to participate in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.  

Mrs. Lavery and her staff emphasize rigorous academics, service to the community, and thinking at a higher level. The staff at Glasgow strives to build a community of life-long learners who are active, knowledgeable and caring.  These are the core beliefs and values that she believes will make a difference with her students and they are the foundation the Baccalaureate Programme promotes.       

Glasgow is beautiful and it is functional. There is a community being established that did not exist in the old building, she said. The old Glasgow was decentralized. Teachers and students worked in modules. The new Glasgow brings people together.   

Mrs. Lavery is a strong believer in staff development. Fourteen teachers at the school have been awarded extended contracts and they serve as a leadership council that provides professional development to the staff. This has helped tremendously to strengthen the instructional program at Glasgow Middle School.  Mrs. Lavery believes that Glasgow is the unknown crown jewel of the system.  

Guests are welcome to attend the Rotary Clubs 7:00 a.m. breakfast meetings. The April 11 breakfast meeting will be held at J.E.B Stuart High School in conjunction with the schools First Annual Ethics Day when all seniors will spend the day learning about ethics, discussing ethical dilemmas, and thinking about their own values and choices.  

The Rotary Club will return to the Athens Restaurant for its breakfast meeting on April 18. The guest speaker will be Dr. Pieter Bottelier, an international economist, China scholar and consultant.