When the doors finally swing open for a new year at Washington District Elementary School, excited students will meet an equally excited new administrator. Mrs. Christie Douglas has been selected to lead the team at WDES. Currently the assistant principal at Montross Middle School, Mrs. Douglas is returning to her first love in education, elementary school. She has more than 10 years teaching experience at the elementary level and has taught first, third, and fourth grade students. She also has three years of administration work. Mrs. Douglas’ positive attitude is a welcome gift to the community and the WDES students. She is a woman who has found her niche in life and now shares this gift of knowledge with the Westmoreland County school family.
A durable leader at Montross Middle School, Mrs. Douglas spent her administrative time helping to build a stronger culture at the school. She and Mr. Bowen, MMS principal, worked well as a team and implemented many new programs designed to enhance parent involvement and positivity at Montross Middle School. She enjoyed showing all the good things that were happening at Montross Middle School. Mrs. Douglas hopes to have a similar experience at WDES. She credits Westmoreland County School system, Superintendent Dr. Michael Perry, Ms. Rice and Mr. Bowen with allowing her to have a “lot of leadership opportunities. Mr. Bowen allowed me to lead and then showed me how to lead. He shaped me into the leader that I am today. I am so grateful to be working at Westmoreland County Public Schools.”
While she admitted to missing her students at MMS, Mrs. Douglas is eagerly anticipating beginning her tenure at WDES. She will be working with Ms. Herdle in learning the history and philosophy of the school. “I want to refocus on some ideas that I have and learn the many strengths of the faculty. I know what it is like to be a teacher and administrator.” Fortunately, Ms. Herdle will be working next year at the central office and will not be “too far away for questions.”
Mrs. Douglas has always wanted to be in education. Her inspiration comes from her mother, Carole Cremo, who is an educator. “My mother always encouraged and supported me to reach my goals. She taught me to set the bar high and have a positive attitude.” The oldest of five children, she had lots of practice working with her younger siblings. “I’ve always enjoyed working with children and helping others.” An elementary education graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, Mrs. Douglas received her master’s in Administration and Educational Leadership from ODU.
Mrs. Douglas feels that she made the right choice in coming to Westmoreland County Public Schools. “We share the same philosophy in education. WMLCPS is dedicated to providing students with the knowledge and skills that they will need to be successful in a global society, in addition to that, Westmoreland is a tight knit community that has a strong sense of family and respects tradition.” She looks forward to her next assignment but will miss her peers and students at MMS. “We did a lot of culture building at MMS. We focused on positive goals for the children and added a positivity to MMS. We tried to get the community more involved by showing the good things that MMS had done and was doing. I learned from an early age to always look for the good and you will find it.”
“My hope is to work collectively with the Washington District Elementary School staff, families, and community to create a welcoming environment that is focused on providing our students with the emotional, social, and academic support that will help them be successful.”
She found the Northern Neck via a friend. “A former colleague and close friend of mine owns a river cottage in Westmoreland. I enjoyed spending time on the Potomac River and taking in all the beautiful outdoor scenery that Westmoreland has to offer.” Her hobbies are all related to outdoor activities. She and her husband, Carlton, a Warsaw native, share an active life with their rescue dogs Jake, Bodhi, and Poppy and one cat, Maisey. “I love the outdoor activities that the Northern Neck has to offer.” Coming from Pennsylvania, she and her husband are avid Penn State and Steeler fans.
Her love and dedication to children is prevalent in all aspects of her life. “Watching my students and staff working together to achieve great things makes me smile every day. There is nothing more rewarding that to look into the eyes of a child who feels accomplished, no matter what feat they have overcome.”
Mrs. Douglas reminds us all of what is important, especially in these trying times. One has to “always have eyes that see the best, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses hope.” This is why Christie Douglas is an administrator and a teacher. Westmoreland County Public Schools is delighted to welcome her to her new role as principal of Washington District Elementary School.