Clint M. Mitchell

Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School
Fairfax County Public Schools
Alexandria, Virginia

After serving as principal at Bel Air Elementary for 10 years, Clint Mitchell was appointed in 2016 to lead the school reform process at Mount Vernon Woods Elementary, which had not made full accreditation in five years. Under his tenure, the school earned conditional accreditation within one year, with full accreditation status for two consecutive years. Mitchell developed an operating model called “Core Three Over Three,” focusing on three strategic goals over three years. Using this model, the school successfully implemented a structured literacy block, began using Collaborative Learning Teams to improve instructional practice, and instituted a comprehensive MTSS, resulting in significant learning gains. Just as significant was Mitchell’s focus on addressing students’ basic needs. Partnering with local food banks and nonprofits, Mitchell succeeded in establishing a monthly market visited by over 300 school families and providing free daily breakfast and lunch, along with a summer lunch program. Mitchell also knew that to turn the school around, community input was essential. He created a Principal’s Advisory Council to connect with parents who reported previously feeling unheard by administrators. Mitchell has worked tirelessly to improve student and family access to social services, including partnering with a local agency to obtain a school social worker. His efforts led to the first Community School at the elementary level. Mitchell holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brooklyn College—City University of New York, an M.Ed. from George Mason University, and an Ed.D. from Virginia Tech University.