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TONIGHT: Meet the two Alexandria City High School Executive Principal finalists on Zoom

The Alexandria City High School marquee. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Tonight, residents can meet the two candidates for the executive principal position at Alexandria City High School.

The candidates, whose identities aren’t yet public, will meet with community stakeholders at the Minnie Howard campus and on Zoom from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for you to meet each executive principal candidate and interact with them during our Question and Answer session,” Alexandria City Public Schools wrote to parents. “The executive principal candidate meet and greet will be recorded and posted to the Alexandria City High School (ACHS) website for three days.”

Candidate A will talk between 7:15 and 8 p.m., and Candidate B will talk between 8:15 and 9 p.m.

After the meet-and-greet, Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt will interview the duo on Friday. The School Board will make their decision to hire in a special meeting next Thursday (June 22).

ACHS Principal Beter Balas announced in May that he had gotten a new job as principal of Wakefield High School in Arlington County. Balas was executive principal for six years and was widely praised by city leaders.

With 4,173 students, ACHS is the second-largest high school in Virginia. The executive principal salary is between $142,000 to $197,000 a year.

The full details from the ACHS executive principal job listing is below.

Job Description

The Executive Principal supports and implements the development of the school vision, and establishes and maintains the school philosophy and educational programs while serving as the instructional leader consistent with community characteristics and school division goals and practices. The Executive Principal leads a large high school serving over 4,400 students across the four high school campuses of Alexandria City High School: King Street Campus, Minnie Howard Campus, Chance for Change Campus and Satellite Campus. The Executive Principal also works collaboratively with the ACPS Executive Director of School Leadership to support instructional excellence and strategic alignment across all ACPS schools and provides an essential role as a Lead Principal for the school division.

This position reports to the Executive Director of School Leadership.


Education:  Master’s degree in related fields.

Certificates & Licenses:  Valid Virginia Department of Education license required, or the ability to obtain one, with an endorsement in Administration and Supervision.

Experience:  Minimum of five years of successful experience as a school-based administrator required. A performance record that demonstrates evidence of improved student performance, instructional leadership, high integrity, vision, innovation, enthusiasm and a strong commitment to diverse schools. Evidence of successfully leading a large urban school (2500+students)

Essential Functions

Connected High School Network Leadership 

  • Articulates and stewards the vision, mission, and priorities of the high school and school division.
  • Leads and evaluates the campus administrators to ensure that all aspects for school operations, student support and instructional programming are planned and implemented.
  • Supports and provides overall leadership to the campus administrators in leading the staff leadership team, school-based SST team, and overall MTSS process.
  • Supports the maintenance of high levels of effectiveness with Professional Learning Communities whereby student data are analyzed and teams collaborate for enhancing school improvement.

Instructional Leadership

  • Leads and supports the development and implementation of the master schedule for all ACHS campuses.
  • Conducts regularly scheduled campus walk-throughs of classroom instruction to include Campus Administrators and relevant Central Office staff to inform school improvement planning.
  • Supports, leads, and monitors the instructional program to provide a culturally-responsive learning environment.
  • Promotes academic excellence in a nurturing environment.
  • Ensures that racial equity and cultural competency is at the heart of the school community to include the development of master schedule, class assignments, and instructional planning and delivery.
  • Ensures the effectiveness of the 9-12 instructional program in all content areas, including viable and sustained processes for master schedule, curriculum implementation, assessment, and instructional delivery.
  • Provides direction and support for the purpose of accomplishing instructional, curricular, and/or program requirements.
  • Selects, orients, assigns, supervises and evaluates leadership staff for the purpose of attaining the objectives of the educational program.
  • Leads instructional and programmatic initiatives at the high school, including components of the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan and the division strategic plan.
  • Oversees and guides the vision and details of the master schedule of the Connected High School Network to ensure that opportunities are maximized between four campuses.
  • Communicates a clear vision of excellence and pursues that excellence in a manner for the purpose of providing consistency with the goals of the school division.
  • Supports and provides leadership for instructional enhancements and interventions that improve student learning and student outcomes.
  • Establishes expectations for high levels of student engagement in classrooms and on each campus.

School Improvement

  • Leads the collaborative development of the school’s academic vision and the components of a comprehensive school improvement plan in alignment with the strategic plan for the school division.
  • Acts as high school lead in contact with representatives from the Office of School Quality in the VDOE in planning their monitoring and intervention to support school improvement.
  • Lead the ACHS/ACPS Graduation Task Force, which monitors potential graduates by cohort and generates any new ideas to assist more students to graduation.
  • Assures the proper evaluation of student progress and the effectiveness of the program for the purpose of determining what practices or objectives to maintain or modify.
  • Regularly reviews programs and services for the purpose of assessing how they will meet the needs of students/employees/school division.
  • Utilizes a variety of data sources for the purpose of making informed decisions for enhancing student/employee/program performance.
  • Supports and attends academic review and monitoring meetings.
  • Supports and facilitates staff in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and documented actions of student achievement data (including benchmark assessments, related diagnostic and formative assessment data, and summative performance assessment data. Supports staff and school actions related to the collected data.
  • Participates in the school improvement planning (SIP) process and ensures the implementation of actions related to SIP goals (such as monitoring on-time graduation rate, special populations, etc.).

 Finance and Budgeting

  • Develops and maintains budgets that support students and teachers across the four campuses of the high school.
  • Prepares the school budget across four campuses for the purpose of monitoring the expenditure of funds, providing for adequate inventories of school property and for the security of and accountability for that property, and for assuming responsibility for the safety, security and appearance of the school plant.

Multi-Tiered Systems Of Support

  • Coordinates and supervises all extracurricular programs for the purpose of maintaining high standards of student conduct and enforcing discipline.
  • Oversees proper implementation for the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) across the high school campuses.
  • Guides school administrators on the implementation and discipline policies, including analyzing discipline disproportionality data and equitable practices.

Connected High School Operations

  • Supervises and leads the Campus Administrators in charge of the campuses of the high school and develops reporting and communication systems whereby each campus is able to track progress as it relates to student achievement data, the instructional programming, and operational efficiency.
  • Creates systems to align standards of high quality instruction and operational expectations across the four high school campuses that are monitored and inspected regularly.
  • Conducts regularly scheduled campus walk-throughs to review operational procedures, safety and security protocols and facilities maintenance that are in place and support with implementation of needed adjustments or enhancements.
  • Supports the implementation and performance of tasks for the purpose of ensuring an efficient and effective work environment.
  • Creates and nurtures a positive school climate with high levels of effective collaboration and communication with all stakeholders.
  • Provides leadership, monitoring, and oversight for programs serving special populations of students including EL, SPED, TAG, Advanced Placement, and Dual Enrollment Programs.
  • Promotes and models staff professionalism and collaboration through the instructional process.
  • Maintains high standards for appropriate conduct with and for staff and students.
  • Promotes a safe, efficient, and effective work and learning environment.

Communications and Family, School, and Community Engagement

  • Communicates and engages the Alexandria City community.
  • Represents the high school on division or city committees whereby the interests of the high school are implicated.
  • Collaborates closely with all departments in the Central Office, including members of the Superintendent’s Leadership Team to ensure that the school’s needs are being met.
  • Communicates for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a professional relationship within the school/school division and with parents, employees, and the community.
  • Represents the high school on division-wide or City-wide committees or meetings.
  • Supports and works collaboratively with Middle School and K-8 Principals on transition activities.

Mentoring/Professional Learning

  • Employs and mentors high school administrators resulting in highly effective leadership teams leading each campus.
  • Assists the Executive Director of School Leadership in coaching and supporting principals as they provide management and leadership for their schools such that each school aligns with the ACPS Strategic Plan.
  • Supports and assists the Executive Director of School Leadership in analyzing enrollment projections, recommending staffing, assigning contingency staffing, and monitoring differentiated staffing plans.
  • Assists the Executive Director of School Leadership in supporting principal leads and assistant principal leads in preparing for and conducting meetings and professional development activities for school principals, assistant principals, and deans.

Strategic Planning

  • Leads and supports the strategic planning process for The High School Project.
  • Establishes, communicates, and stewards the vision and mission of Alexandria City High School in alignment with the Strategic Plan set forth by the school division.
  • Coordinates, supports, and maintains the interconnected facets of the Connected High School Network (CHSN) maximizing opportunities for all learners in grades 9-12.
  • Directs the establishment of maintaining of the school philosophy and educational program for the purpose of consistency with community characteristics and school division goals and practices and implements and enforces School Board policies and regulations.
  • Ensures the proper implementation of division initiatives across the high school campuses.


  • Criminal Justice Fingerprint/Background Clearance.
  • Tuberculosis Skin Test.

Public Health Compliance

  • Proof of COVID vaccination. Exemptions for religious/medical will be reviewed.
  • Must follow safety and health protocols.

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