Welcome, Principal Dade!

By Rebecca Baenig, Assistant Superintendent, Region 5
February 05, 2020

The Region 5 Leadership Team is pleased to announce that Ms. Merrell Dade has been named as the principal of McNair PreK-2 Elementary School.  With the construction of a new school on the McNair Elementary campus to alleviate overcrowding, students and families will be served in two school buildings beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.  Ms. Dade will serve as principal of the school for students in grades Prek-2, while the current principal, Mrs. Goddin, will serve as principal of the building for students in grades 3-6 for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Ms. Dade brings a breadth and depth of experience to this position with 28 years of service in Fairfax County Public Schools.  She has spent six years serving students and families in a primary school as both a teacher and administrator.  She is currently the principal at Forestdale Elementary school where she has been principal since 2014.  Prior to her tenure at Forestdale Elementary School, Ms. Dade was the principal at Franconia Elementary School for seven years.  Prior to the principalship, she served as the assistant principal of Wakefield Forest and Kings Park Elementary Schools and as a LEAD Administrative Intern at Lemon Road Elementary.  Ms. Dade began her career in education as a teacher at Kings Park and Hollin Meadows Elementary Schools. 

Ms. Dade understands the challenges and opportunities of serving a school and community with high diversity, high poverty, high populations of English language learners, and students with learning, physical, and emotional disabilities. During her highly successful tenures at Forestdale and Franconia Elementary Schools, Ms. Dade demonstrated her ability to build relationships, efficacy, and capacity with all stakeholders through coaching and collaboration, always putting students first.   Ms. Dade’s record of success in leading instruction and high academic achievement for all students is well-known across the school division.  She has a high level of expertise in the areas of Balanced Literacy, Math Workshop, Cognitive Coaching, Adaptive Schools, Responsive Classroom, Professional Learning Communities, data-driven dialogue, the Portrait of a Graduate framework, and FCPS Best Practices for Teaching and Learning.

Ms. Dade holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts in New Professional Studies from George Mason University, and a Master of Education in Education Leadership from George Mason University.  She was honored in 2017 as the Fairfax County Public Schools Outstanding Principal of the Year.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. Merrell Dade as the new principal of McNair Elementary School.  She will be assuming this position on March 2, 2020. 


Rebecca Baenig, Assistant Superintendent, Region 5

merrell dade and the mcnair second grade team
McNair PreK-2 Elementary School's new principal Merrell Dade meets with the school's second grade team for the first time!
region 5 office
The Region 5 Office and Westfield Pyramid principals welcome Principal Dade in her new role!