Congratulations, Principal Durso!

By Rebecca Baenig, Assistant Superintendent, Region 5
July 18, 2023

The Region 5 Leadership Team is pleased to announce that Ms. Kelly Durso has been named the new principal of Oak Hill Elementary School!

Ms. Durso holds a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master in Special Education from William Paterson University.  Ms. Durso also holds a Master's Degree in Education and Leadership and anticipates completing her Ph.D. in Special Education & Education Leadership from George Mason University in 2024. Ms. Durso has 6 years of experience serving as the assistant principal of Olde Creek Elementary School and Oak Hill Elementary School. In addition, Ms. Durso has served as an Acting Principal at two different elementary schools over the past two years (Little Run ES & Oak Hill ES). Prior to becoming a school administrator, Ms. Durso was a sixth-grade special education teacher at Kings Glen Elementary School (2013-2016) in FCPS. She was also an intervention specialist at Ferguson Middle School (in Beavercreek, Ohio) for 6th and 7th graders from 2011-2013. Prior to that position, Ms. Durso served as a Kindergarten-5th Grade Special Education Teacher at Colonial Road School in Franklin Lakes, NJ (2008-2011). She began her career as a Special Education Teacher (K-2) in 2007 with Portlock Primary School, Chesapeake, Virginia.

Currently, Ms. Durso serves as the Assistant Principal of Oak Hill Elementary School. The majority of Ms. Durso’s administrative experience has been at Olde Creek Elementary School, where she served as an Assistant Principal for six years. During her time there, she orchestrated School Improvement and Innovation Plan (SIIP) construction and three-year school plan (OC20) writing and reflection processes to develop and implement a shared vision of learning, focusing on students with disabilities (SWD) and other underperforming student groups. Her leadership in this process led to dramatic student achievement gains in both reading and math. In addition, she identified the need for increased utilization of evidenced-based reading programs and implemented a Literacy Lab for all Olde Creek students in need of additional support. Ms. Durso also established a communication team to focus efforts and expand the breadth of collaboration between Enhanced Autism teachers, speech and language pathologists, Assistive Technology Services (ATS) representatives, and the ABA coach. This led to a drastic increase in communication development for students in the Enhanced Autism Program. While at Oak Hill, Ms. Durso has led work related to data analysis, trauma-informed positive behavior approach, and inclusionary practices. She has also led the implementation of phonemic and phonological awareness data analysis to support teacher instruction and intervention.

In addition to her teaching and administrative experience, Ms. Durso has engaged in other leadership experiences. She has delivered staff development in a variety of areas (Cultural Proficiency, Concurrent Instruction, Understanding Common Processing Disorders). She is also certified in several areas, such as MANDT, Professional Crisis Management and is a former Ukeru Trainer. Ms. Durso has been recognized by her colleagues for her leadership capabilities. She was recognized as the Woodson Pyramid School Leader of the Year (2018-2019) and Olde Creek Leader of the Year for multiple years. She currently serves as a mentor to two new assistant principals and is a key member of the Region 5 Assistant Principal Plus Planning Team.

Outside of school, Ms. Durso enjoys playing soccer, gardening, and reading.  Most of all, she enjoys quality time with her family, which includes her husband, Joe, two sons, Keegan (10) and Rylan (8), and their rescue dog, Ranger.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. Kelly Durso as the new principal of Oak Hill Elementary School! She starts her new position on August 1, 2023.