DATE: May 16, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Three Elementary Schools, Murray, Stone-Robinson and Woodbrook, Will Have New Principals on July 1, All of Whom Have Served as Principals in the Division
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Albemarle County Public Schools announced today that three elementary schools will be receiving new principals on July 1. The schools are Murray, Stone-Robinson and Woodbrook, and in each case, the new principal is serving or has served as an elementary school principal in the division.
Lisa Molinaro, who has been Woodbrook’s principal since 2010 and led the school through its recent modernization and expansion, will be joining the division’s central staff as a Lead Coach. Her responsibilities will include working with instructional coaches and teachers on the sharing of best instructional practices.
She will be succeeded by Kristen Williams, Stone-Robinson’s principal since 2015. Under Williams’ leadership, student test scores on the state’s Standards of Learning (SOL) exams have steadily improved and the school expanded its project partnerships with community organizations.
In turn, Williams will be succeeded by Mark Green, now completing his ninth year as the principal of Murray Elementary School. Under his leadership, Murray students have consistently outperformed their peers across the state on SOL exams, with pass rates often exceeding 90 percent. This school year, the state Board of Education presented Murray with an Award of Excellence for their student achievement.
Alison Dwier-Selden, a Lead Coach in the central office, who previously served as the principal of Yancey Elementary School and Walton Middle School, will be the new principal at Murray. Dwier-Selden’s current responsibilities include supporting K-8 Language Arts instruction in the division as well as the preschool program and Title I schools. While she was principal at Yancey, students earned among the top SOL reading scores in the division. At Walton, she introduced a program to strengthen the social and emotional development of students.
“New positions offer new opportunities for professional growth and development, and that certainly will be true for all of our administrators who will be in new roles in July,” said Dr. Clare Keiser, Assistant Superintendent for Organizational Development and Human Resource Leadership. “We are extremely fortunate to have so many outstanding educational leaders, all of whom will build upon the strong records of accomplishment that already exist at these three schools and in our Lead Coach program,” she said.
Before becoming Woodbrook’s principal, Molinaro was an assistant principal at Greer Elementary School, and earlier, taught at both Greer and Yancey Elementary School.
Williams said, “Woodbrook occupies a special place in my professional career. It’s where I began my Albemarle County Public Schools career in 2000 as a kindergarten teaching assistant and then as literacy specialist for seven years.”
Williams later was appointed as the Elementary Language Arts Coordinator for the division before taking on the role of Lead Coach. She also has served as the division’s K-12 Language Arts Coordinator and as the coordinator for both Title I and preschool.
In a message to the Murray community, Green referenced the school’s high SOL pass rates, noting, “What’s even more important than test scores, however, is how they are achieved. I am proud of the contributions our staff, teachers and parents have made to our student-centered emphasis in the classroom. By placing students at the center of our teaching, we improve their interest and engagement with learning, their enthusiasm for discovery, and their joy of acquiring and applying knowledge.”
Prior to becoming Murray’s principal, Green was at Crozet Elementary School for 10 years as a school counselor, and later, assistant principal.
While Walton’s principal, Dwier-Selden introduced the school to Developmental Design, a program focused on the emotional and social development of students. “Academics always should be our focus, but strengthening students’ emotional and social bonds, especially among their peers, can contribute to outstanding academic performance, and these are skills that will benefit children throughout their lives,” Dwier-Selden said.