Laurie McDonald, principal of Evergreen Mill Elementary School passed away Sunday after a battle with cancer. McDonald had worked in various positions within the Loudoun County school system for 38 years.
McDonald's career in education began in 1972 when she became an elementary school teacher at Congressional Private School in Falls Church. She began teaching at Guilford Elementary the following year while she earned her master's degree in guidance and counseling from George Mason University.
She remained at Guilford until she received her first assistant principal position in 1979 at Sully Elementary. Following Sully, McDonald served as assistant principal at Sugarland Elementary before being appointed principal of the new Ashburn Elementary in 1985, where she also served as the Physical Education teacher to the school's 58 students. McDonald was also principal of Lowes Elementary before becoming principal of Evergreen Mill Elementary in 2005.
Longtime colleague LCPS Superintendent Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick III said Monday, "All of Laurie's colleagues will miss her leadership and dedication to Loudoun's children. She spent 38 years of her life teaching thousands of Loudoun's young people, both as a classroom teacher and as a school administrator. Her untimely death will leave a significant empty space in our leadership team and in our hearts, but her preparation to the end of her life assures the students of Evergreen Mill Elementary School that the excellent education she inspired will continue.
"We will all miss her physical presence among us, but her spirit will live on. She saw the potential in students and staff alike, and she worked diligently to nurture all that was best in those with whom she worked. The whole LCPS family extends its sympathy to her family as we grieve the loss of mother, wife, sister and inspiration."
Anthony J. Mussari, Ph.D., of the Face of America Project, said McDonald was "a teacher first, last and always. What made her so special was the magical way she had with students and the welcoming environment she created in her classroom and her school."
Funeral services for McDonald will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Christ the Redeemer Roman Catholic Church, located at 46833 Harry Byrd Highway, in Sterling. Interment will be private at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to:
American Cancer Society
124 Park St., SE
Vienna, VA 22180-0699
Condolence cards may be sent to:
40398 Beacon Hill Drive
Leesburg, VA 20176