Western Albemarle High School Has a New Principal

via press release:

Dr. John W. Werner, who has served as a high school principal in Virginia since 2008, has been appointed to succeed Dave Francis as the principal of Western Albemarle High School effective July 1 of this year.

Dr. Werner’s appointment follows an exhaustive search process that included interviews and a community online survey that asked residents in western Albemarle communities about those qualities that were most important in the next Western Albemarle High School principal.

The school division’s search committee surveyed nearly 4,000 families in its western feeder pattern of schools. Among the qualities respondents identified as most valuable in a new high school principal were strong communications and educational skills, being a visionary and being able to facilitate and manage change.

“We are very pleased to have a leader with John’s proven strengths join the Western Albemarle community in such an important role,” said Dr. Matthew Haas, an assistant superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools and the chair of the search committee.   The committee included administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students.

“When you review John’s record, two characteristics boldly stand out. Students improve their academic achievement and John is the designer of some highly innovative development programs for both teachers and students,” Dr. Haas said.

Among innovative opportunities for the new principal will be a decision on a new center of excellence to be located at Western Albemarle High School. Four years ago, Albemarle High School unveiled its Math, Engineering & Science Academy and this year, Monticello High School began its Health and Medical Sciences Academy. A decision is expected later this year on a learning academy at Western Albemarle that would begin operations in the fall of 2014.

“It truly is an honor to be joining such a wonderful community in Western Albemarle,” Dr. Werner said, “I was impressed with the community’s vision for preparing students for 21 st century learning and career success. I am eager to work with Western Albemarle parents, a very hardworking faculty and with dedicated students who love education. There are so many opportunities for excellence in front of us,” Dr. Werner said.

Dr. Werner currently is in his second year as the principal at Osbourn High School, which has 2100 students, in the Manassas City Public School division. Prior to that, he was the principal of Clarke County High School for three years. Dr. Werner also served for seven years as an assistant high school principal for three Fairfax County Public Schools. He began his academic career as a social studies teacher at Herndon High School in Fairfax County and coached boys and girls track and football.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in history and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University and a Master’s Degree and Licensure in Educational Administration and K-12 Leadership, also from George Mason. Dr. Werner received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Werner succeeds Dave Francis, who has served as the principal at Western Albemarle High School since 2008 and will complete 42 years as an educator in Virginia, including 23 years as a high school principal when he retires on June 30.

The first result for him when I search “dr. john werner” in google isn’t flattering … I hope Albemarle County did a good job on his background check and learned from the City’s fiasco a few years ago.

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28 Replies to “Western Albemarle High School Has a New Principal”

  1. He will hang out for a few years, people will see him for what he’s worth, and then he will go pull the wool over some other district.

  2. Never heard of the guy, but assuming the 1st Google result for everyone is the same as mine “fairfax underground” I’d take that all with a very large grain of salt. It reads like a bunch of gossip and bitter pills. The no internet policy, if true, seems fine but I can see it rubbing some employees the wrong way making them post rumors. Didn’t see anything on the list serve to raise suspicion. Heck, I remember being a student and hearing all sorts of rumors (nearly all, if not all, 100% false) about pretty much every teacher and admin in school

  3. he is my pricipal know at Osbourn, teachers hate hime, he is very controlling a rude to them.. During pep rallys he very much disrespects the teachers, and they dont like him. He is very interested in the Music programs at our schools, so if you play an instrument or in the chorus, you may like him, other than that he sucks, hes very sarcastic and treats his employees like peons. He will not be there very long.

  4. You all should have done your home work! From a teacher that has worked under him, you have no idea what you are getting…fairfax ug website makes him look like a saint. I could go on and on…you will all find out after

  5. Jim, I will spare you the water cooler gossip about him. Here are some facts….1. He has never seen a 9th grade class through graduation as a principal 2. Dr. Haas says in his above press release that in the review of this principal student achievement improves, academically….really? 36 months at first principal job, 24 at second. At the second job the lowest grade a student could receive is a 50….fyi…60 is passing. If what Dr. Haas says is true, why is he not the hottest must have principal in Virginia. 3. Do some digging on this one…..why would the dr. transfer out his special ed. Dept. Head at his last job????

    1. Very interesting, feelin sorry for ya.

      I hope our Board have done their homework as well. What you’ve laid out is concerning, but (for now) I’m going to have faith that they have done the necessary due diligence.

      Thank you for sharing rather than gossiping.

  6. Jim, I can appreciate your faith in the districts decision to have him lead said high school…..additional facts…Fairfax county, loudoun county….both respectable districts decided against hiring him as a principal on several occasions…he was pushed out of one of the lowest performing high schools in state, Osbourn. As you know as far as improving student academic success, most of that is data driven. Data involving student improvent in school can be derived both ethically and unethically. I hope Dr.haas took the time to study his data closely with thee innovativev academic programs Dr.w offers to improve student achievement. As for my last comment, I hope you investigate my last post 3rd fact….why would the good dr. move his special ed. Department head out of his building?????? The said individual is a 15yr educator in mcps, doctoral candidate, college adjunct professor with a spotless record and exceptional reviews???? And this was done with in his first year at Osbourn……

    1. Thanks, feelin sorry for ya …

      I have a reasonable degree of faith in the leadership within Albemarle and I sincerely hope they did their homework. If this were my job, I’d spend some time investigating …

  7. Jim, I hope the following occurs for the kids and community at western albemarle hs under werners watch. 1. Tests scores improve and the number of students going on to higher ed reaches record numbers. 2. Dr.w stays for years and years and continues to develop new and exciting programs to enhance student learning. 3. Students will be prepared amd educated for success in the 21sr century. Enjoy your new leader…

  8. I think we can all agree that it is judicious to take all internet postings of any sort — especially those that tend toward character evaluation — with suspicion. Certainly, all individuals in positions of power in any field are subject to criticism and a deep level of scrutiny. In the end, this sort of thing serves no purpose; no matter how wonderfully any of us perform our assigned tasks, some people will love what we do and how we do it, some will truly dislike it, and most will give to it little attention either way. In fact, upon reading the entries regarding Dr. Werner on “Fairfax Underground,” I’d be more concerned about the questionable quality of writing (poor punctuation, grammar misuse, etc.) used by the teachers who are posting there than I would about verifying a rumor about an administrator. At no point have Dr. Werner’s previous employers expressed concern about the way in which he has done his job; in fact, the state of Virginia provided commendation to him this year (2013) regarding his work at Osbourn High School in Manassas. Test scores have improved, graduation rates have increased, and significant strides have been made to assist those students — and their families — who are sincerely at risk for underachievement.

    With all due respect, “feelin sorry for ya” puts forth a number of pronouncements but provides no factual evidence to support the assertions. For instance, at what Loudon and Fairfax County high schools was Dr. Werner denied a principalship? Is there any tangible source of information that states that Dr. Werner was “forced-out” of MCPS? Is there evidence that the data used by the state of Virginia to evaluate Dr. Werner’s performance was unethical? In addition, it is the job of the principal to remove ineffective faculty, and it is also the job of the principal to follow-through on directives made by the superintendent and the school board. Is there evidence that demonstrates that Dr. Werner did not follow proper procedure with the reassignment of the director of special education at OHS?

    Along with the poor and ineffective writing of the “student” contributor (for which none of us can blame Dr. Werner), perhaps “feelin sorry for ya” could have caught and remedied in the classroom this student’s very elementary level of demonstrated academic achievement — since “feelin” intimates he/she has worked as a teacher under Dr. Werner — rather than spending so much energy trying to undermine the work of others. If “feelin sorry for ya” truly believes they themselves are capable of better job performance than administrators such as Dr. Werner, by all means work toward proper certification and take on the challenges of administration. In the meantime, I suggest “feelin sorry for ya” consider focusing on his/her application of skills in the classroom so no high school student under his/her watch comes out of the classroom writing as poorly as the student on this forum.

    With that, I truly wish Dr. Werner the very best of luck in his new position, and I hope that the community of Crozet will warmly welcome him and allow him to do the work he is so uniquely qualified to do. Together with hard-working teachers, caring and involved parents, and a supportive and energetic community, the students at WAHS will be prepared to successfully meet the myriad of life challenges that lie ahead for them.

  9. Jim and everyone else who will read this comment section…..I am amazed that the below posts were able to generate a response from dr. werner, er I mean toppy. just have one question to be asked….why did the superintendent in manassas give the dr. a one week vacation after homecoming this past year?????? Toppy?????

    1. I don’t know … I had a good conversation with someone today that gives me a degree more of confidence in him. He’s an unknown to me, and while he’s an unknown to me, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt until either

      1) Proven otherwise or
      2) Someone in the media takes the time to investigate him and your allegations.

  10. Why doesn’t the Albemarle county school system hire from within? Isn’t that what vice principals are for? Just curious.

  11. I assure you, feelin sorry for ya, that I am not Dr. Werner; I know Dr. Werner because of the gracious assistance he offered to my school this past year regarding a few pedagogical matters. His innovative and effective programs captured my attention, and I have been grateful for his input.

    I certainly can’t speak to any leave taken by Dr. Werner during the school year, but I suspect that is something the superintendent of MCPS is qualified to discuss so, if it is of interest to you, your best bet is to ask her directly for an accounting of events.

    Your anger toward Dr. Werner is palpable and, since you will no longer be working with him, I imagine it is best to let those negative feelings go so you can move forward with an eye toward providing the best comprehensive education possible for your students. Best of luck to you.

  12. at OHS grades improved because he made a policy where teachers could not give a score below 49….that’s a novel idea huh. he made it very clear that if teachers felt like just going ahead and raising a grade…go right ahead!!! hmmm…another great approach. the guy is a tool! you guys should have checked him out a little better. (btw, hide your girlfriends and wives)

  13. holy cow, i just read the comments below. whoever made those comments is right on the money. but you will find out soon enough. make sure you trust your teachers when they come to admin with what may sound like outrageous complaints. cause they aint outrageous.

  14. See … Here’s the thing. If you’re going to make an assertion of fact, please state it as such. If you’re going to make statements of opinion, please state that.

    We try to have a reasonably friendly environment and community here. If you’re going to make baseless accusations, I’ll remove your comment.

    @disqus_XKaVyZ0kc7:disqus Can you provide more factual insight into the “policy where teachers could not give a score below 49”?

    1. he informed the teachers they could not give a grade below a 49 for a marking period. ask any teacher. ask him. he can’t deny that.

  15. What a first day. 30 minutes of rule book reading. Way to kill the excitement of the first day of school. I hope it gets better.

  16. It is great that they have new principal. They can surely start something new and create something new that would help students in learning effectively.

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