Having a new principal in place well before the start of the next school year is critical for a school that has weathered plummeting morale among staff, an exodus of teachers, complaints about the lack of student discipline, and lack of communication with parents. Eck’s appointment takes effect July 1.
Many in the Poe community feel the Fairfax County Public Schools administration has neglected the school since former principal Sonya Swansbrough was arrested for embezzlement last fall. Her trial is expected to take place next month.
Eck began her career as an elementary school resource teacher and English-as-second-language (ESOL) teacher in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, then served as an elementary school assistant principal in Miami, where she was responsible for data collection and analysis, state testing, the school improvement plan, and a mini-renovation project, Tyson states.
Eck was named an “intercession coordinator” at Glen Forest Elementary School in Bailey’s Crossroads in 2005. She advanced to assistant principal at Glasgow Middle School a year later, where she played a lead role on the school improvement plan, introduced an ESOL/general education co-teaching model, and monitored monthly meetings of the collaborative learning team.
In 2008, Eck was promoted to her current position as principal of McNair Elementary School in Herndon. McNair has been recognized by the Priority Schools Initiative for its innovative practices, and Eck has earned the Virginia Department of Education’s Board of Excellence Award twice.
Eck has mentored the growth and development of many teachers and assistant principals, Tyson says. She has supported strategies to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning at McNair through robotics, Lego League, and GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) clubs. She also designed and implemented an intervention/enrichment block to support student learning.
Tyson calls Eck “a passionate believer and supporter of school-wide data discussions, appropriate professional development, and structured collaborative learning teams.” She completed her undergraduate work at Florida International University and earned a master’s degree at Nova Southeastern University.