Albemarle Co. Public Schools Principals Kristen Williams (Stone-Robinson) and Beth Costa (Henley)

DATE:  June 25, 2015
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

New Principals Appointed for Henley, Stone-Robinson

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Two members of the school division’s leadership team have been appointed principals of Henley Middle and Stone-Robinson Elementary schools.

Dr. Beth Costa at Henley and Kristen Williams at Stone-Robinson will assume their new responsibilities on July 1, succeeding Drs. Patrick McLaughlin and Nicholas King, respectively. Dr. McLaughlin is becoming the division’s new Strategic Planning Officer and Dr. King will be the new Student Services Officer.

“Beth and Kristen have been exceptional educators in our division for many years. They have proven results working with all 26 of our schools to improve the quality of instruction. Each will bring to her new school community a big-picture perspective of the learning environments our students need to reach and exceed their potential,” said Dr. Matt Haas, Assistant Superintendent.

Dr. Costa most recently served as an assistant principal at Monticello High School. Prior to that role, she was a lead coach for the division, as is Williams. As lead coaches, both have partnered with principals and teachers in developing practices that raised the level of student performance and in designing plans that increased the professional development of teachers.

“We are fortunate to have had so many highly qualified candidates for these two positions,” Dr. Haas added. “Beth and Kristen were the best of the best. They are well-connected to the classroom, innovative in their approach to learning, and very effective in bringing a team together to perform at a high level. They will provide immediate benefits to their new school communities,” said Dr. Haas.

Dr. Costa has been an assistant principal at Monticello High School since 2012, where her responsibilities have included managing the transition of middle school students to high school. She also has overseen instructional programs in English, English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL), and math, and supervises the school’s college-readiness program.

“Our highest priority as educators is student readiness—preparing students to be lifelong learners, to be accepted at the colleges and universities of their choice, and to succeed in a career path they choose,” Dr. Costa said. “Henley is an outstanding school, intently focused on student success. I am looking forward to working with very talented colleagues and a wonderfully supportive community to broaden the potential of all of our students,” she said.

Dr. Costa began her career in education as a high school English teacher in 1998. She also has been an English department head, adjunct professor of English, and a program coordinator in Language Arts, in addition to serving as a lead coach and assistant principal. She joined Albemarle County Public Schools in 2008. She received her undergraduate degree from Elizabethtown College and her master’s degree from Capella University. She also earned a PhD in educational leadership administration from Capella.

In a note to the Stone-Robinson community, Williams said, “The collaborative work I’ve been a part of at Stone-Robinson inspired me to apply for this position. I had the privilege of working with and getting to know many teachers and connecting with parents. These experiences gave me a high regard for the dedication and passion you bring to your community. I am eager to partner with you in ensuring Stone-Robinson is the very best it can be for students—a warm and nurturing learning environment for all of us to flourish and grow.”

Williams joined Albemarle County Public Schools in 2000 as a kindergarten teaching assistant at Woodbrook Elementary School, where she subsequently served as the literacy specialist for seven years. She became the division’s Elementary Language Arts Coordinator before taking on the role of Lead Instructional Coach. As a member of that team, she assisted in the design and implementation of the coaching model. She also serves as the division’s K-12 Language Arts Coordinator and as both the Title I and Preschool Coordinator.

In each of these responsibility areas, Williams closely worked with teachers and principals on oversight of the language arts curriculum, improving assessments of student progress, and in implementing instructional best practices. She is a 1989 undergrad of the University of Florida, where she also received her master’s degree with a specialization in reading. She holds a certificate in school administration from James Madison University.