Vincent Baxter’s commute to his new job as principal at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School won’t take much longer in driving time — only three minutes, without traffic, from Mary Ellen Henderson Elementary School where he has served as assistant principal for the past two years. According to the Falls Church City Public School system, although nine candidates applied for the job, the best candidate was right in their backyard.
Students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, grades 2-4, will be well prepared for grade 5 at Mary Ellen Henderson since Baxter, officially hired by a vote of the Falls Church City School Board April 15, will continue to serve as assistant principal there until July 1. His familiar face is one of experience and leadership in Falls Church City Public Schools and he is excited to assume his new position.
“I look forward to getting to know the students, families and teachers in the Thomas Jefferson school community,” Baxter said.
Although it isn’t easy for him to leave his current role as assistant principal at Mary Ellen Henderson Elementary School, he has been encouraged to take this career opportunity.
“The [Mary Ellen Henderson] school community has been extremely supportive of my decision to move to Thomas Jefferson,” Baxter said.
Having spent the last two years as assistant principal at Mary Ellen Henderson Elementary School, Baxter has proved himself to be a successful leader in education. Before coming to the Falls Church City Public School System, he worked in Washington, D.C. Public Schools. He taught second and third grade at Walker-Jones Elementary School, served in administration at Rock Creek International School and ran W.B. Patterson Elementary School as summer school principal. His credentials also include two years in Central Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English to 9-11 year-olds.
A native of Falls Church, Baxter graduated from J.E.B. Stuart High School and received his bachelor’s from the University of Virginia. He also has a master's in educational leadership from The George Washington University, where he is working on his doctorate in educational administration.
Baxter replaces current principal Trudy Taylor who is retiring from the post.
Baxter's approachable manner and shared goal with the Falls Church Public School System — to prepare children for what lies ahead in their lives — spells a happy ending for the students.
“We know our students will go on to have diverse life experiences, both at home and abroad, so we strive to prepare open-minded kids who will represent Falls Church well,” Baxter said.
Baxter says the best part of his job is “learning and playing four-square.”