The Manassas Park School Board on Monday approved a two-year contract extension for superintendent of schools Bruce McDade and held an awards ceremony for 28 division employees who were recognized for their long service and outstanding performance.
McDade’s previous contract, which ran from 2010 until 2014, was extended until 2016 for various internal administrative reasons and to allow him to better work with a new board member who will join later this year, said school board Chairman Michael Wine. School board members are not elected, but appointed by the city council.
Board members only had praise for McDade,55, a former Nova Scotia English teacher who earned a doctorate’s degree in education from the University of Virginia.
“This was a no-brainer for us,” Wine said. “He has done a fabulous job and is involved in all elements of the school district.”
The board recognized Cougar Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Dawn Woolley, the 2012 district winner of the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. The award, underwritten by The Washington Post, recognizes teachers who exemplify excellence in their profession. The 21 winning teachers this year each received $3,000.
The awards are open to teachers in the school systems in the Virginia-Maryland-DC metropolitan area. Agnes Meyer, a staunch supporter and defender of public education, was the wife of Eugene Meyer, who purchased the newspaper in 1933.
Woolley, a teacher for 27 years, said she was surprised and delighted by the award.
“I’m very flattered,” Woolley said. “You get up and do the best job that you can every day for the kids, but it’s nice to get this recognition.”
Woolley, a former law student at Rutgers University, decided against a law profession in college after her instructors told her she “didn’t have the voice,” of a lawyer.
“They told me that I sounded like a kindergarten teacher,” she said. “Well, I thought, that doesn’t sound too bad to me.”
She has never looked back. What is the best part of her job, she was asked last night.
“The best part is the kids. It’s just a good thing teaching them,” Woolley said. “To me, my classroom is the happiest place on earth. I can’t imagine ever doing anything else than this. I tell them (school administrators) to just leave me in my classroom forever.”