Four New Principals to Lead Area Catholic Schools this Fall

August 19, 2010

When the doors open for the new school year, four Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Washington will be led by new principals from across the country. Schools in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties open August 24 and schools in Charles County open August 30. Schools in Washington, DC, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties open September 1. The new principals are:


Cardinal Hickey Academy, Owings – Jennifer Griffith joins Cardinal Hickey Academy from Kentucky where she has been a teacher and principal for 22 years. From 2001 to 2009 she was a principal at two different Catholic schools in Kentucky. Prior to that she worked for the Kentucky Department of Education, and as a teacher in various schools across four states. She holds a bachelor of science degree in education with a concentration in elementary education from the University of Georgia and a master of science in elementary education from Troy State University. Cardinal Hickey Academy serves about 280 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.


St. Andrew the Apostle School, Silver Spring – Gary Rand began his career in education as a student teacher and substitute at St. Anthony School in Washington, DC in 1997. He went on to teach at St. Ambrose School in Cheverly and serve as assistant principal for grades K-5 at Mother of God School in Gaithersburg. He has spent the past two years as a Catholic school principal in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He holds a bachelor of science in educational studies from The Catholic University of America and is studying for his master’s degree in administration. St. Andrew the Apostle School serves about 330 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.


Annunciation School, NW – Gary Beckley will take over leading this school of about 140 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade this fall, but his first job wasn’t in a school. While studying for his bachelor of science in economics from John Carroll University in Ohio, he entertained shoppers at a Nordstrom department store as a pianist! He went on to work as a director of youth ministry in parishes and as a Catholic school teacher in the Los Angeles region of California. He comes to the archdiocese from Nashville, TN, where he has served as a Catholic school principal for the past two years. He holds a master of education from the University of Notre Dame and is working on a doctorate in education leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.

Holy Trinity School, NW – Keith Darr brings 25 years of experience as a Catholic school principal in the Diocese of Savannah, GA and the Diocese of Charleston, SC. He began his education career in 1983 as a civilian teacher for U.S. Navy personnel travelling overseas and has since served as the principal in four different Catholic schools, most recently in Augusta, GA. He holds a bachelor of business administration in accounting from Ohio University and a master of education degree in elementary education from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. Holy Trinity School, located in Georgetown, serves about 330 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

The Archdiocese of Washington serves approximately 28,000 students in 98 elementary, secondary, special schools, and early learning centers in the District of Columbia and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland.

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