Douglas MacArthur Elementary School Principal Deborah Z. Thompson has announced she will retire at the end of the current school year.
Thompson began her teaching career with Alexandria City Public Schools in 1973. After leaving the division in 1990, she returned and was appointed principal at MacArthur in 1994.
“We thank Debbie for her more than 36 years of combined service as a teacher and principal to ACPS,” said schools Superintendent Morton Sherman in a news release. “We appreciate her service and leadership, and we wish her a gratifying retirement.”
Thompson wrote, in a letter to her school community, “MacArthur and ACPS will always be in my heart. I will cherish the memories, friendships and hundreds of students.”
Her announcement comes less than a month after a MacArthur student was charged with brandishing a weapon by the Alexandria police following an incident on involving a toy gun on a school bus.
Earlier this week, the child's mother, the Alexandria chapter of the NAACP and others criticized the handling of the incident by school officials and the police in a story in The Washington Post.
ACPS will begin the search for a new principal to lead MacArthur in March. The school's parents and staff will have the opportunity to meet the prospective candidate as he or she visits the school prior to a final selection and appointment.
“Our goal is to have a highly qualified principal selected and ready to begin the 2013-14 school year,” Sherman said. “We want to ensure a smooth transition and spectacular opening for MacArthur students and parents.”
The timeline for the new principal search is as follows:
- March 1: Advertise the vacancy, accepting applications through March 29
- March 18-29: Online survey allows respondents to provide feedback on most desired attributes.
- March 18-22: Conduct staff and parent meetings to obtain feedback on most desired attributes
- Week of April 15: Panel interviews
- Week of April 22: Final interviews with ACPS superintendent
For more on Douglas MacArthur, see:
- Mother of ACPS Student Arrested for Toy Gun Incident Criticizes Case's Handling
- MacArthur Student Handed Weapons Charge Following Toy Gun Incident