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Mount Vernon Community School ‘Principal of the Year’ Liza Burrell-Aldana resigns

Principal Liza Burrell-Aldana with students (photo via Mount Vernon Community School/Facebook)

Mount Vernon Community School Principal Liza Burrell-Aldana announced her resignation today via email. Burrell-Aldana was named the Washington Post’s 2023 Principal of the Year in April, and her last day is June 30.

Burrell-Aldana, MVCS principal since 2017 and vice principal for three years before that, didn’t specify why she’s leaving, but wrote that she made the announcement with mixed emotions.

“After nine years of successes and challenges with the best family community and staff in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), the time has come for me to take on new professional challenges,” she wrote. “It was initially daunting, but being the principal of MVCS became my career’s most invaluable leadership experience to date.”

Burrell-Aldana’s departure follows the recent resignation of Alexandria City High School Executive Principal Peter Balas.

Both resignations were made a little more than a month since Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt was officially hired to lead the school system.

ACPS did not respond to a request to comment.

Burrell-Aldana’s letter is below.

Dear MVCS Families and Staff,

It is with mixed emotions that I share some news with my Mount Vernon Community School (MVCS) family. After nine years of successes and challenges with the best family community and staff in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), the time has come for me to take on new professional challenges. Please know that my last day as the principal of MVCS will be June 30, 2023.

While I am moving to start a new chapter in my career, I am incredibly grateful for all the work we did together to benefit our MVCS students, staff, and dual language program. I have learned much over the past nine years and have built meaningful relationships with our students, staff, administrators, families, and community members.

When I was appointed principal in 2017, after being an assistant principal at MVCS for three years, I gladly took on the challenge of leading the largest elementary school in ACPS, the only full dual language school, and working with one of the most involved and supportive family communities in the school district. It was initially daunting, but being the principal of MVCS became my career’s most invaluable leadership experience to date. I am grateful for the support I received from my staff, the school community, and ACPS leadership throughout my tenure as the proudest school principal in the school division.

It has been a privilege serving MVCS. Your support of my leadership of the MVCS dual language program, our teachers, and the leadership team has brought incredible growth to our school at many levels. The success of systems and structures that make MVCS a great learning community for students, staff, and families is a product of true collaboration between the school and the community.

Over the next few weeks, I will close the school year and prepare the school for the transition to new leadership. The school division will ensure MVCS will continue growing our program, emphasizing a positive school culture and offering the best learning experience for our students.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me the leader I am today. I will miss the hugs of our students and the incredible sense of community we have built together. I have collected many wonderful memories with all of you and will remember them fondly over the years to come.

It has been a pleasure partnering with you during these past years.

With my deepest gratitude – iHasta luego!

Liza Burrell-Aldana

Proudest Principal, Mount Vernon Community School

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