James Dutrow – Lake Ridge Middle School; Kaitlyn Engelmeier-Moor – Porter Traditional School; Heather Goode – Sinclair Elementary School

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is pleased to announce that three principals, Jim Dutrow from Lake Ridge Middle School, Kaitlyn Engelmeier-Foor from Porter Traditional School, and Heather Goode from Sinclair Elementary School, have been selected to participate in the prestigious Cahn Distinguished Principals Fellowship for 2024-25. These exceptional leaders are three of just 70 principals chosen nationwide to be part of the 2024-25 cohort.

The Cahn Fellows program recognizes and supports excellence in education by supporting effective school leaders. The fellowship offers principals opportunities for professional, intellectual, and personal growth. As Cahn fellows, each principal will participate in a one-year program centered around authentic challenges and measurable outcomes within the Cahn Professional Development Model. This model enables Fellows and their Allies, a person who has leadership potential selected by the principal to participate with them in this program, to apply academic research more effectively to practice and actively enhance their learning.

To be eligible for the Cahn Fellows program, candidates must be nominated by the school division’s supervisory administrators and complete five years as a principal. The candidate must display demonstrated success in each of the following areas:

  • Personal commitment to providing an excellent education to all public-school students.
  • Evidence of effective leadership as demonstrated by growth or consistently high levels of student achievement at their school.
  • Strong leadership qualities, including intellectual curiosity, resourcefulness, collaboration skills, mentoring skills, creativity, and self-awareness.
  • History of professional accomplishments and contributions to the field of education and/or district/network.

Eligible nominees must complete an application. Finalists for the award receive a site visit by Cahn leadership, and a final interview between the nominee and Cahn senior program director is conducted before the winners are selected.

Following are profiles on each PWCS principal selected.

Kaitlyn Engelmeier-Foor:

Kaitlyn Engelmeier-Foor, principal of Porter Traditional School, has over 18 years of experience as an educator and is passionate about fostering a collaborative and student-focused environment.

One of her recommenders for the Cahn Fellows program had the following praise for Engelmeier-Foor, “Mrs. Engelmeier-Foor has created an environment that promotes and celebrates student and staff success. She responds to the needs of students, staff, and families and has created a safe and positive environment where the rigor of academic expectations is evident from the moment someone arrives at Porter Traditional.”

Engelmeier-Foor began her career at Porter Traditional in 2006 as a social studies teacher. She then took on the role of teacher on special assignment in 2010 for one year. Following that, Engelmeier-Foor was appointed assistant principal at the school, a role she held until 2018 when she was promoted to principal.

During her principalship, Engelmeier-Foor achieved National Blue Ribbon recognition based on overall academic excellence and progress toward closing achievement gaps among academic student groups.

Under her leadership, U.S. News and World Report ranked Porter the number one middle school in Virginia based on performance on state required assessments.

Heather Goode:

Heather Goode, principal at Sinclair Elementary School, is a passionate and accomplished educational leader. With decades of experience and a commitment to excellence, she has significantly impacted her school community.

Recommendations submitted for the Cahn Fellows program for Goode reflect the qualities that make her an example of what a school leader entails. “Mrs. Goode has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, unwavering dedication, and a profound commitment to academic excellence and community engagement. She has shown a remarkable ability to build strong relationships and create conditions where each student can thrive.”

Goode began her career as an educator in 1993, serving as a kindergarten teacher at Loch Lomond Elementary School. Over the years, she has held various positions in PWCS, including instructional consultation team facilitator and trainer, lead mentor, intervention specialist, administrative intern, and assistant principal. Since 2018, she has been the principal at Sinclair Elementary.

Goode’s leadership at Sinclair Elementary has been marked by significant accomplishments. Under her guidance, the school received the Virginia Board of Education Highest Achievement Award recognizing excellence in student outcomes.

Outside of school, Goode’s impact extends further. She is a Nationally Qualified Online Coach for Instructional Consultation Facilitators and has been nominated for Disney Teacher of the Year and the Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award.

Jim Dutrow:

Jim Dutrow is an accomplished and dedicated principal with over 23 years of experience as an educator. He has held various roles during his tenure in PWCS, including currently serving as the principal at Lake Ridge Middle School.

One of his recommenders for the Cahn Fellowship program shared, “Mr. Dutrow welcomes feedback and ideas from all stakeholders and his timely responsiveness and openness to feedback contribute to a thriving school community. He always demonstrates a high level of professional conduct. He is commended for his collaboration with principals and leaders at all levels.”

Dutrow is a true leader, collaborator, role model, and mentor and enjoys sharing his experiences and knowledge with others. He regularly presents best practices, new initiatives, and strategies to colleagues, staff, and community stakeholders.

He began his educational career as a physical education teacher in Fairfax County in 2001. In 2008, Dutrow transitioned to PWCS and served as a teacher on administrative assignment at Lake Ridge Middle School. In 2011, he became the assistant principal at Potomac Middle School for one year before returning to Lake Ridge Middle in 2012 to serve as the assistant principal there. Dutrow continued in that role until 2019 when he was promoted to principal of Lake Ridge Middle.

Dutrow’s commitment to excellence and student success is evident through his achievements and contributions at Lake Ridge Middle School. Under his leadership, the school has received numerous national, state, and regional accolades. Notably, it has been recognized as the Best Middle School by US News and World Report and achieved significant improvements in academic achievement and pass rates on Stands of Learning exams. Most recently, Dutrow was named the PWCS Principal of the Year.

Dutrow’s dedication to educational excellence and student well-being continues to make a positive impact at Lake Ridge Middle School.