Loudoun County, VA (September 3, 2015) – Discovery Elementary has a very short history – only two years – but new principal Christopher Painter appreciates the traditions and expectations that have been built there.
“People expect that high-quality education comes first and we are definitely a school that has a strong culture that values our students. Students are at the forefront of every decision we make. We are a building where people feel respected and valued – anybody can come through our doors and want to be here and shine while they’re here.”
Painter replaces Discovery’s first principal, James Dallas, who is now Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) director of teaching and learning.
“He definitely laid down a strong foundation with the outstanding staff we have here,” said Painter. “As I meet the community, I can tell they aspire to be a great school. We want to continue those efforts and be a great school here…
“I’m here to continue those efforts. I’m very passionate about Discovery already and can’t wait to lead us into the future.”
Painter is familiar with the community he’s serving. He started his LCPS career in 2006 as a second grade teacher at Legacy Elementary; later serving as an administrative intern there.
“We have very involved parents that value education. They want their students to be successful. You can establish great relationships with your parents and families. We can exceed all the expectations for students when we work together.”
At the same time, Painter wants those expectations to be in the best interest of his students. “At times parents’ expectations and the school’s expectations may not be aligned with each other. I always respect and value any expectation. I don’t think it’s out of the realm for parents to want absolutely the best for their child. But be open and transparent about where we’re coming from… hopefully you can find some common ground where we can align those expectations and meet them together…
“You’re usually able to find a common ground you can stand on with them.”
Another LCPS posting Painter has held is assistant principal at Horizon Elementary. Through this role, he saw different students with different learning styles and abilities; all of whom Painter said can be taught successfully.
“Every child is valued. When a team comes together and is working for every child… they can really have a meaningful learning experience… We can reach every child and provide a great education for them. It takes a team approach. I think for all of our students – whether it’s students with special needs, ELL students – they need all the supports we have in the county, along with support of their parents – to maximize (their learning)…
“I truly want every child who comes into our doors to feel respected and valued and every parent to genuinely feel welcome.”
Painter doesn’t anticipate any big changes at Discovery, but wants to enhance students’ learning through tapping into community resources, especially in the area of technology. Painter is a technology enthusiast and wants to bring the enthusiasm students display toward technology away from school into the classroom. He wants students to view technology as a learning tool, not just a toy.
Speaking of families, it could be said that Painter’s family is an LCPS family. His wife, Jennifer, is a fifth grade teacher at Catoctin Elementary. The couple, both Pennsylvanians (Painter comes from Grove City), met while teaching fifth grade at Ressie Jeffries Elementary School in Warren County. They are parents to two preschoolers; daughter Kylee and son Kayden.
Painter said he and his wife moved to Loudoun because they wanted their children to have the educational advantages LCPS offers.
“We made the move to Loudoun County because we believe in the school system and we want to provide as many opportunities as we can for our children.
“We are an LCPS family through and through.”