APS News Release

Campbell’s Maureen Nesselrode Named APS Principal of the Year

2020 Principal of the Year Maureen NesselrodeCampbell Elementary School’s Maureen Nesselrode has been named Arlington Public Schools’ 2020 Principal of the Year.

“We congratulate Maureen Nesselrode on this well-deserved honor. Maureen is a passionate leader who is not just dedicated to her students, but is dedicated to the entire community she serves. She has established strong community and family partnerships and works tirelessly to support her students and staff,” said Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson, adding, “During her eight years as principal of Campbell Elementary, she has helped transform the school as a nationally recognized model for Expeditionary Learning education. Maureen’s belief in excellence and equity for all students comes through in her daily work as principal.”

Nesselrode holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Bucknell University as well as a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from George Mason University. She is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Special Education from George Mason University.

Nesselrode has 21 years of experience in education and 20 years of teacher and administration experience with APS. She taught American Studies at Swanson before becoming an assistant principal at Ashlawn Elementary School and Arlington Science Focus School. Nesselrode has been the Principal of Campbell since 2012.

“I have worked closely with Maureen for over seven years and have witnessed firsthand her commitment to Campbell and her exceptional leadership and management skills,” said assistant principal Karen Anselmo. “As a Title I school under her leadership, we are closing gaps and assuring that our diverse student population is making gains through innovative and authentic learning experiences.”

During her time at Campbell, Nesselrode has established several avenues for families to dialogue with her, including a Principal Chat and a Thursday Moms Group. “Maureen runs Campbell in a thoughtful, caring and efficient manner. Over the past eight years, she has completely turned around a school that was at risk of failing its children,” said parent Nathan Zee.“

Walking through the halls at Campbell and interacting with students there, one observes an unusually purpose-driven environment. Through learning targets discussed and displayed with their work on bulletin boards, throughout the school, children are able to identify and evaluate their progress in pursuit of curricular goals,” said parents Barbara Martinez and Will Bohlen.

Under Nesselrode’s leadership at Campbell, a fully accredited Expeditionary Learning school with an outdoor education focus, the school has become one that strikes a delicate balance between rigor and passion while still striving to meet the needs of all of its students. Nesselrode’s strong commitment to special education students has resulted in the success of the countywide Interlude program and the recognition by Expeditionary Learning (EL) Education as a school with an exceptional special education model.In October 2019, Campbell became one of five schools nationally to receive an Expeditionary Learning Credential for Excellence in Character and Scholarship from EL Education, a leading K-12 education nonprofit working to close opportunity gaps.

“Campbell sets the standard for consistent, varied, and creative outdoor learning and confirms what dozens of studies have shown about the benefits of outdoor education. This would not have been possible without Maureen’s support and encouragement. She has truly been and continues to be a champion of this innovative approach,” said parent and Outdoor Learning coordinator Christy Przystawik.

In previous years, APS has held a Celebration of Excellence in May to honor the Principal of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year honorees. As a result of the school closure due to COVID-19, this year Ms. Nesselrode and other award recipients will be honored virtually across APS social media channels with videos and photos.