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Metro Brief: Powell Elementary School leader named Principal of the Year

District of Columbia

On December 1, 2014

Chancellor Henderson (right) and incoming mayor Bowser surprise principal Docal (center) at
Powell Elementary school.
Credit: twitter/MurielBowser

At a surprise visit at Powell Elementary School last Thursday, District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Janeece Docal as the 2014 DCPS Principal of the Year, and recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award. Docal has been the principal at Powell since the 2009-2010 school year.

“When I think about the qualities that make a phenomenal principal, and the qualities that I want in a school leader, both as a parent and as chancellor, I think about Janeece Docal,” said Chancellor Henderson.

“She holds incredibly high expectations for her students, has built a team of people who deliver on those expectations every day, engages the Powell Elementary School family and community members as partners in the work, and literally does whatever it takes to help all of her students achieve at the highest levels. Powell has doubled its enrollment, significantly increased student proficiency and become a strong neighborhood school because of Janeece Docal and her amazing team. She cares deeply, driven by a passion and true commitment to equity.”

Principal Docal will receive the Excellence in Leadership Award during the fifth annual Standing Ovation for DC Teachers at the Kennedy Center on January 12, 2015.

Docal began her career in school leadership by obtaining her Master’s in education from The George Washington University.  She served as a Fulbright-Hays scholar to New Zealand, studying curricular frameworks and reform efforts and as the Washington Post Cultural Ambassador and Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar to Japan. She completed her education specialist degree in educational leadership and administration and has taught as an adjunct professor for the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Docal is currently in Georgetown University’s Executive Masters in Leadership program with the McDonough School of Business and is completing her doctoral thesis with the University of Vigo, Spain. 

Docal began her time in school leadership as an assistant principal at the Columbia Heights Education Campus – Bell Multicultural Senior High School in northwest Washington, D.C., where she was previously an educator for nine years. She is a New Leader for New Schools (cohort 2008) and became principal of Powell Elementary School in July 2009 where her passion for her students, teachers, and community continues to inspire her work.

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