Graduation caps tossed in the air

Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

Congratulations Class of 2023! We are so proud of our graduates, who are donning their caps and preparing to walk across the stage to receive their well-deserved diplomas. We have some busy and joyous weekends coming up, and I invite you to review our 2022-23 graduation ceremonies events calendar here.

An additional congratulations to our recent PWCS retirees, who served faithfully as trusted partners in education with our students, families, and community. At last night’s Retirement Ceremony held at Gar-Field High School, I had the honor of recognizing our committed PWCS professionals who have served with excellence over multiple decades. To all of our PWCS retirees, we congratulate you on the legacy you have left behind and wish you well in your next chapter.

A further congratulations to four PWCS principals, Neil Beech (Gainesville High School), Mark Marinoble (Cedar Point Elementary School), Marisa Miranda (Glenkirk Elementary School), and Alyse Zeffiro (Kerrydale Elementary School), on their selection in the Cahn Distinguished Principals Fellowship for 2023-24. The Cahn Fellows program is nationally recognized for excellence in education and supports strong school leaders to improve education for all students. We are proud of our principals as they are the first in PWCS history to be bestowed this honor. I invite you to read more on our website about this prestigious and exciting opportunity for our principals and the PWCS community.

Our Commitment 2: Positive Climate and Culture, ensures our dedication to creating a positive climate and culture for everyone. As we closed out May this week, which was Mental Health Awareness Month, I would like to highlight the information and resources available on our website. For too long, this important discussion around mental health has been limited due to an unjust stigma. PWCS wants you to know that we are here for our students, families, and community.

In May, PWCS also recognized Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Schools across the division celebrated historic milestones, acknowledged significant contributions, shared cultural traditions, and learned about the influence Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have had on the development of our multicultural country. We are proud to highlight our various social and ethnic backgrounds.

Furthering Commitment 2, PWCS is dedicated to the inclusivity and celebration of our students, staff, and families. The diversity of our community is our superpower, and I am proud to recognize, along with the Prince William County School Board, that June 2023 is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. We ask our community to join us in celebrating all students and staff, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. PWCS is committed to a respectful, safe, and welcoming environment for all.

Tomorrow, June 3, PWCS will hold an Instructional Job Fair at the Kelly Leadership Center. I invite you to complete our registration form and help us recruit top talent by spreading the word about instructional opportunities or any of our classified positions, such as bus drivers, security, finance, human resources, and information technology professionals. I encourage you to refer family, friends, or recent graduates, especially former PWCS students – you belong here!

With only nine days left in the 2022-23 school year, now is the time to make connections, and create a lasting impression between our students and staff. The last few days of school are perfect for building bridges that keep students excited to come to school and leave them inspired for the next school year. Together, we can ensure our students end the year strong and with a proud sense of belonging and accomplishment.

As a reminder, June 15 is the last day of school and will be an early-release day. This ensures final exams, grading, and year-end obligations are met for students and staff before the summer break.

LaTanya D. McDade signature

LaTanya D. McDade, Ed.D.
Prince William County Public Schools