Maria McDonald, Principal, (571) 402-3700,

Dear PACE West Families:

I am proud and humbled  to be a part of the PACE West Community.  It is a school with an honored tradition and a mission of educating the whole child.  PACE West’s child-centered approach truly makes it a caring and supportive environment to learn.  The partnerships that exist between the dedicated staff, families and community, like PACE Village, are evident and play a pivotal role in responding to the needs of every child that attends PACE West School.  I am eager to continue this positive school culture and forge strong connections to ensure the best education possible for our students.

By way of introduction, I live in Stone Ridge, Virginia with my husband, Joe, and three boys, Aidan, Jack, and Joseph (better known as Joe Joe). My husband is a former special education teacher, as well as a high school baseball coach, and all my boys are ball players.

Before coming to PACE West, I was a special education teacher with Fairfax County Schools for seven years, three of those years in a special education school for children with emotional disabilities.  I was also a former director of a student services for a small district Pennsylvania and prior to that a director of a special education school in Washington, DC.  I was fortunate to have worked at Battlefield for seven years as an assistant principal.  For me, schools should be an integral part of the community they inhabit.  They should also be focused on high expectations for all students, through developmentally and emotionally appropriate approach—best teaching practices, give students the skills to achieve these expectations.  Finally, I believe that creating citizens who are a positive influence on their community and have a drive to continuously learn is a mission that any school should envision and strive towards for their students.

It is my desire to continue to work collaboratively with you to provide our students with a foundation for success.   As we work together as partners in education, we can make a difference for each and every child.  I hope parents, staff, community partners, and bus drivers and attendants—and everyone else we come into contact with--will continue to focus on that partnership in doing what best for each and every child at PACE West. 

I am energized and deeply committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our children.  As a parent myself, I know that you are sending your child—your pride and joy— to our school every day, and I thank you for allowing me this wonderful opportunity work with your child.

Maria McDonald
(571) 402-3700

For information on PACE West's level and behavior system, please click here.