DATE: March 29, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Student, Teacher, Assistant Principal, and Soon-To-Be Principal, Ashby Johnson, Will Succeed Kathryn Baylor as Jouett’s Leader
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Ashby Johnson, who attended Jack Jouett Middle School and later returned as a teacher, a coordinator of the school’s globally-recognized college preparatory program, and then assistant principal, has been appointed as the school’s next principal by the Albemarle County School Board. Johnson’s appointment is effective with the start of the new school year on July 1.
She will succeed Kathryn Baylor, who recently announced her retirement after serving for 13 years as Jouett’s principal.
“Ms. Johnson’s commitment to the Jack Jouett community dates back nearly 20 years, beginning when she was a middle school student there,” said Dr. Clare Keiser, Assistant Superintendent for Organizational Development and Human Resource Leadership. “She is deeply rooted in the work we are doing in Albemarle County Public Schools, having served as a teaching assistant, classroom teacher, special education teacher, AVID coordinator, and assistant principal at both the middle and high school levels,” Dr. Keiser added.
Among her signature accomplishments, Dr. Keiser noted, was serving as AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) coordinator during the time when Jouett earned the international program’s highest honor as a demonstration school. The AVID program was designed to support students in becoming the first in their family to attend college through the development of strong academic, planning and leadership skills. Jouett expanded the program’s benefits to all of its students by making its strategies an integral part of its overall curriculum.
“As a teacher and administrator, I admire how our school always has put students first, and there’s no better indicator of that than the influence of the AVID program in our school,” Johnson said. “I have seen first-hand how it is building student confidence, study and academic skills, and personal fulfillment,” she added.
“I learned a great deal from Kathryn Baylor,” Johnson said. “Among the most valuable is that, as educators, it’s important to recognize the unique talents and potential within all of our students and to challenge, support and encourage them to achieve at high levels,” she said.
“We are enormously grateful for Ms. Baylor’s transformative leadership, not just at Jouett, but throughout our school division,” Dr. Keiser added. “She consistently has been a highly influential mentor for so many of our administrators and teachers,” said Dr. Keiser.
Johnson said she will be building on a strong foundation of achievement at the school. Some of her initial priorities include working with the Jouett community to develop vision and mission plans based upon common values, continuing to strengthen connections with all students to close opportunity gaps, and expanding the engagement of families and the broader community with the school.
“We have important work to do between now and July 1 in working closely with Ms. Baylor to bring our school year to an incredibly successful close. I look forward to making Jouett the very best it can be for all of us,” Johnson said.
Johnson has served as a middle and high school administrator in all three of the school division’s feeder patterns, having been an assistant principal at Henley Middle School, Monticello High School, and Jouett. She is one of a handful of administrators in the division currently certified in culturally responsive teaching, which focuses on mastering evidence-based teaching strategies and practices that improve student performance across all demographic groups. Albemarle County students represent 89 different birth countries, and there are 74 different languages spoken in our students’ homes.
An undergraduate of James Madison University with a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin, Johnson began her career in education as an instructional assistant at Greer Elementary School. She served as a Language Arts teacher and a special education teacher at Sutherland Middle School before joining Jouett as an intervention teacher, serving for seven years during the time when the school earned AVID demonstration school status.