Announcement from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundAnnouncements

Dear Shepherd Community,

I hope that this letter finds each of you well. Serving as principal of Shepherd has been a great joy and privilege. However, I am sending this letter to inform you that I will not be returning as principal for School Year 2022-2023.

When I joined this community in July 2019, I served as your interim principal and would never have imagined that I would be appointed principal in a global pandemic during which we would serve virtual learners for nine months. We worked hard last year to bring back as many children in person as we possibly could, and I am so grateful to have all your children back in the building this school year.

It has been a journey, and this community has demonstrated tremendous grace, generosity, and adaptability during my tenure here. In April 2020, numerous families were wary of accepting a laptop because someone may have needed it more than they did. When I walk out of my office after a long day and a parent thanks me for addressing an issue or communicating succinctly, that is Shepherd. And our magnificent teachers and staff who always hold high expectations and show abundant love to your children are Shepherd. Your children are the greatest strength of all. They inspire me and give me tremendous joy and hope for the future.

The Shepherd community welcomed me as your principal in 2019. The years that transpired since are filled with pride for our collaborative accomplishments. I would like to highlight just a few of those accomplishments:

  • Implementation of Responsive Classroom;
  • Successful International Baccalaureate Five-Year Evaluation;
  • No significant drop in academic achievement during a global pandemic;
  • Establishment of All-School Meeting as a Shepherd tradition;
  • Opening of the Shepherd Park Community Center and daily access to a gymnasium and new cafeteria;
  • Installation of a new HVAC system; and
  • Expansion of after-school clubs.

In our efforts to continue this wonderful work, you will have the opportunity to engage in the selection process for a new principal. In preparation for the transition, DC Public Schools coordinates the selection and appointment of principals with great care and consideration. An important part of the school’s contribution will be to form a Community Panel—a committee comprised of parents, teachers, and community members to provide a diverse perspective on the decision-making process.

We will start with a virtual informational meeting on April 20th to learn about the next steps for selecting a new school leader. The meeting will be led by representatives from the DCPS Office of School Improvement and the Office of Engagement and Partnerships, along with Instructional Superintendent Albert-Garvey. More information on how to join that meeting is available in the flyer attached to this message.

The past few years were unprecedented and trying times but seeing the joy, accomplishments, and tenacity of our students as we came together, even while being apart at times, was truly remarkable. I hope to have the chance to say farewell to as many of you as possible before I depart from DCPS, and I look forward to supporting a smooth leadership transition for our community.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for trusting me to be a part of your child’s educational journey. It has been one of my greatest joys as an educator.

With much appreciation,

Phyllis Hedlund, Ed.D.

Principal, Shepherd Elementary School