DATE: June 17, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Leadership Awards, Professional Development Programming, Community Workshops Characterize Accomplishments of Baker-Butler’s New Principal
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Seth Kennard, a principal of the year for Alexandria City Schools and a recipient of the
Washington Post’s Distinguished Educational Leadership Award, has been named the new principal of Baker-Butler Elementary School. Kennard succeeds Dr. Stephen Saunders, who will become the next principal of Greer Elementary School on July 1.
Under Kennard’s leadership, Charles Barrett Elementary School became a Kennedy Center Art Integration Demonstration School; earned a Virginia Index of Performance Award from the state Board of Education for the Standards of Learning (SOL) performance of its students; and was named one of the region’s “top elementary schools” by
Northern Virginia Magazine.
“When we looked for all the qualities in an education leader that are associated with consistently exceptional outcomes, we found them in Mr. Kennard,” said Dr. Clare Keiser, Albemarle County’s Assistant Superintendent for Organizational Development and Human Resource Leadership. “What instantly stands out when you meet Mr. Kennard is the ease of his connection with people and his ability to inspire teachers, students, and members of the community to collaborate at high levels,” Dr. Keiser added.
In addition to the foundational work he did with the Kennedy Center that led to the Center’s National Arts Integration Demonstration School program, Kennard co-chaired Alexandria City Schools’ Special Education Inclusion Committee and developed professional development programming on reading, math, language acquisition, blended learning, and trauma-informed care. He also originated several community workshops and was chosen by his peers as the school division’s Lead Elementary School Principal. Mr. Kennard also serves on the Education Advisory Committee for the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
“I could not be more excited to be joining the Baker-Butler community,” Kennard said. “I long have been impressed with the accomplishments of the school’s highly talented staff and students, and I look forward to working with the entire school community to build upon its many successes. I am eager to meet students, families and staff this summer as I move forward in my new role,” he added.
Dr. Keiser said the new principal’s management style and priorities will be a perfect match with his new school. She pointed out that the legacy of the two community leaders for whom Baker-Butler is named, James Butler and John Baker, emphasized support for an outstanding staff and faculty, the importance of inclusion and community outreach, and the responsibility to lift every student to their highest potential.
Prior to becoming the principal at Charles Barrett, Kennard was an assistant principal at elementary schools in Alexandria and Stafford County. He began his career in education teaching elementary students in Stafford.
An undergraduate of Mary Washington University, Kennard earned his Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia. He also holds state postgraduate professional licenses in Elementary Education, Administration and Supervision, and English as a Second Language.
Dr. Keiser said that Mr. Kennard will join Albemarle County Public Schools mid-July.