New principal to start at Mount Vernon Woods Elementary


Gina O'Neal (far right) meets staff members and students at Mount Vernon Woods ES (Credit: FCPS Region 3)

Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School (ES) will have a new principal starting next week.

Gina O’Neal, who until now had served as assistant principal at Riverside ES for four and a half years, will assume the top administrator role at Mount Vernon Woods, effective Monday, Feb. 28. She will fill the slot vacated by former principal Dr. Clint Mitchell in mid-January.

Before joining Riverside, O’Neal was an instructional coach at Graham Road ES for three years and a Kindergarten and third grade instructor at Kings Park ES for three years, according to a Feb. 18 notice from the leadership team of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Region 3.

O’Neal has received several distinctions in recent years, including Riverside ES Outstanding Leader (2020), Riverside ES Outstanding New Leader (2019) and Mount Vernon Pyramid Outstanding New Leader (2019). She also is listed as a Pyramid-level recipient of a 2021 Outstanding School-Based Leader award from FCPS.

FCPS Region 3 described O’Neal as an energetic and inclusive leader, who successfully led school improvement efforts, improving student performance and teacher competencies, while boosting morale school-wide. She also was credited with being a dedicated instructional leader who is well-versed in using data to drive decisions and leading during a pandemic.

“Her specific experiences with advanced academic programs, managing and mentoring teacher leaders, using the Responsive Classroom approach, and her notable experiences with family outreach efforts will benefit the Mount Vernon Woods school community,” said Region 3 leadership.

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