Fourteen years ago, Margaret Davis walked the halls of Waples Mill Elementary School as a preschool special education teacher. This year, she will walking them as one of the school's two new assistant principals.
After more than a decade of teaching special education in Fairfax County, Davis made the switch to administration and served as the Crossfield Elementary assistant principal for the past two years.
The decision to transfer came about much like her decision to make the leap from classroom teacher to administration: to challenge herself.
"I tend to be a person who works at something for a little while then needs a little bit of a different challenge. So I worked in preschool, then [preschool autism class] then moved to elementary and have taught all seven grade levels. Administration seemed like the next logical step," Davis said.
Though she had thought about a career in education during her childhood as the daughter of an Airman — which took her everywhere from Turkey to Japan to Alabama as she attended 13 different schools in her 12 years of school — she instead pursued biology in her undergraduate studies at Russell Sage College in Albany.
Without intending to follow in her father's footsteps, she too joined the Air Force where she served as a chemical research officer. After she had kids, she decided to stay at home until her youngest son entered first grade when she took a job as an assistant with ah preschool special education class.
"I fell in love with the kids overnight, so then I went back to school for my degree in education," she said.
Davis earned a master's degree in early childhood education from George Mason University and an education leadership degree from University of Virginia.
For her first year as assistant principal at Waples Mill, Davis plans to spend much of her time getting to know the school community, learning from Principal Linda Thetford and working with Waples Mill's other new assistant principal, Kathryn Greene.
"Linda Thetford has such a wonderful reputation for growing assistant principals, giving us a little rope to do our things," Davis said. "And I'm very much looking forward to having that second AP to work with. We've been here three-and-a-half weeks and already being able to pop my head into her office to bounce something off of her has been really nice."