APS News Release

Bridget Loft Named Principal of the Year

POY_Bridget Loft_Arlington Public Schools_color photoSwanson Middle School’s Bridget Loft has been named the 2017 Arlington Public School Principal of the Year. Loft has serve as principal at Swanson for five years.

“Bridget is an educational leader whose number one priority is her students, staff and community,” said Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy. He continued, “As an innovative leader and a lifelong learner, Bridget is student-centered, thinking about the middle-school-aged child to find the best ways to meet their academic, emotional, physical, and social interests.”

Loft earned a Bachelor’s Degree in history from the University of Virginia. She also holds a Masters in secondary social studies from UVA and a Masters in educational leadership from George Mason University.

Loft has been an educator for 22 years. From 1992-97 and from 1999-06, Loft taught social studies at Wakefield High School and briefly for Miami-Dade Public Schools. She served as an assistant principal at Swanson from 2006-10 and at Wakefield High School from 2010-11 before returning to Swanson as principal.

In their letter of support, the Swanson administrative team said of Loft, “Make no mistake, much is demanded of us. But we are given opportunities to learn and take responsibility. Bridget Loft has created a student-centered building that brings the finest performances from her staff.”

Commenting on Loft’s note to teachers before the holidays to give students a break and not assign homework, former School Board member Noah Simon said, “As an involved parent and member of the school’s community, this to me epitomizes Bridget’s leadership and reasonable approach to educating kids.”

Students also note that Loft is helpful, friendly and encouraging. “She is always smiling, helping students, giving advice and second chances. Ms. Loft is special because she has helped me in a lot of ways,” said sixth grader William Berhanu.

Loft will be recognized by the Arlington School Board along with the Teacher of the Year and the Support Employees of the Year on Tue, May 16 at Washington-Lee High School.