Lillie G. Jessie

Occoquan District

About Lillie G. Jessie

Mrs. Jessie was first elected on November 6, 2012, to fill the remaining term of the Occoquan District seat. The seat was vacated in the spring of 2012 and filled on an interim basis. She was re-elected in November 2015 and 2019. She was elected by the School Board to serve as Vice Chairman in 2016 and again in 2017. She served as acting Chair in 2018. Mrs. Jessie, a former teacher, supervisor, assistant principal, and principal in Prince William County Public Schools, retired in the 2010-11 school year after a 35-year career, 20 years of which she was the principal of Elizabeth Vaughan Elementary School. Under her leadership, Vaughan became a National Model Professional Learning School (PLC). Vaughan Elementary was nationally recognized for closing the gap and is featured in a national PLC video. Under her leadership, Vaughan Elementary was recognized nationally and internationally for closing the achievement gap.

Mrs. Jessie is a nationally recognized author and education consultant. She has authored three anthologies, "The Collaborative Principal," "The Collaborative Teacher," and "It's The Principal of the Thing,' published by Solution Tree. The "Collaborative Teacher" is currently on Solution-tree's "Best Sellers" list. Her latest publication is "The Ten Principal's Principles for High Performance in Diverse, Low-income Schools." She and her staff are featured in three national videos, and she is the author of a national video, "Nothing Happens Until People are Having Fun." She is also an educational writer for the Old Bridge Observer.

Mrs. Jessie is the creator of the Martin Luther King Youth Oratorical. This award-winning program of 32 years has an attendance of more than 2500 annually. Mrs. Jessie chaired this collaborative project for 17 years. The collaboration included the school system, Hylton Memorial Chapel, and local churches. More than 2500 attend this event annually. Some speakers from this event spoke at the White House and Governor's Mansion. PWCAC celebrated the 32nd Anniversary of this project this year.

Mrs. Jessie has received numerous awards for her contributions to the educational community. Her name is on the Prince William County Walk of Fame. In 2022 she received an award from the Prince William County Committee of 100 for "Outstanding Service to the Prince William County Community. She was named Supervisor of the Year while supervisor of Title I. In 1996, she received The Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award and was named the Prince William County Principal of the Year. She received the Unsung Hero Award from Channel 50, Educator of the Year from Dale City Christian Church, NAACP Community Service Award, Eboné Image Leadership Award from the National Coalition of Black Women, a leadership award from the National Congress of Negro Women, the Prince William County Kathleen Seefeldt Community Service Award, and a Prince William Board of County Supervisors Commendation. She received the 2010 Universal Human Rights Day Award from the Prince William County Human Rights Commission. In 2014 she received the Citizen of the Year Award from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The School Board named a wing at Vaughan Elementary School in Mrs. Jessie's honor in 2009.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe selected Mrs. Jessie as a member of his Standards of Learning Committee from 2014-16.

During her nine-year tenure on the Board, Mrs. Jessie has been instrumental in the following accomplishments:

Countywide Contributions to PWCS

  • Initiated a study that resulted in the reduction of trailers in elementary schools
  • Founder of the Parent Summit, a countywide initiative designed to assist parents in making college or career decisions for their children
  • Brought National educational consultants to the Prince William County School Division
  • Co-led the naming of Fannie Fitzgerald Elementary School and assisted in the naming of George Hampton and Unity Braxton
  • Named school wings for Renee Lacey and Anita Flemons

Contributions to the Occoquan District

  • Worked collaboratively with the community to reduce the number of students adversely affected by the boundary change from 1,600 to 400.
  • Reduced the number of trailers in eastern elementary schools on the east from 119 to approximately six (in Occoquan District)
  • Added wings to three schools in the district to reduce over-crowding and trailer use
  • Added a new school: John Jenkins, the first in more than 25 years
  • Added a sports complex to Woodbridge High School that included a new auxiliary gym, stadium, Astro-turf field, and track after more than 45 years of waiting
  • Promoted the soon-to-be first net-zero school in the Occoquan District, slated to open in 2025
  • Promoted the construction of the new high school on the east, slated to be open in 2025

She earned a master's degree in Communication Disorders from Northwestern University, a bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology from South Carolina State University, and a Certification in Administration from the University of Virginia.

Occoquan District Schools