Duncan named new ACHS principal. Former Minnie Howard administrator takes the reins this Saturday

Duncan named new ACHS principal. Former Minnie Howard administrator takes the reins this Saturday
Alexander Duncan III

By Aaron Kopp – akopp@alextimes.com

On June 22, Alexandria City Public Schools announced Alexander Duncan III as the new principal of Alexandria City Public High School. Duncan formerly served as the campus administrator at ACHS’ Minnie Howard cam- pus. He will take over as prin- cipal on July 1.

In early May, ACHS Principal Peter Balas announced his resignation to serve as the principal of Arlington’s Wak field High School. The school board’s search for a replacement began quickly. A special meeting of the School Board was called on June 22, at which the new principal was announced. ACPS superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt, Ed.D. made the announcement and introduced Duncan.

“I am excited for the chance to lead our high school in what I believe to be historic times as we are continuing education after the pandemic and as we are expanding as a high school with our connected high school network,” Duncan said in an address to the School Board.

Duncan came to ACPS in 2007 as an English teacher. He has since served as a department leader, dean of students, assistant principal and summer school principal. In 2021, he became the campus administrator of ACHS’ Minne Howard campus. One focus of Duncan’s work is multi-tiered systems of support. MTSS are systems in which a school collects data on students through testing, and a schoolwide approach is taken to support students based on their needs.

“I carry an inherent be- lief that it takes a village. It takes a village to raise children and make a school function and operate,” Duncan said in a Zoom meet and greet with parents.

Duncan plans to meet with students, parents and faculty members over the summer.

Duncan said, in part of his introductory message to the ACHS community:

“ … each of us has an impact on the day-to-day operations of our school and the lives of our students. As such, the work we do is not only pivotal in our students’ education, but it’s life’s work that is, no doubt, impactful and transformative. And, my goal is to ensure that all staff and students feel heard and that our school is a safe space for students to learn and staff to work.”