Staff Editorial: Thank You, Dr. Poole

School shows gratitude, says goodbye to leader


Chantilly is “filled with special people that make a positive difference in the lives of exceptional students,” wrote Dr. Poole in his closing note to the school as he announced his plans to retire at the end of January. During his tenure, Dr. Poole has consistently demonstrated immense support for student media, the performing arts department and the academy while sponsoring the various career education opportunities offered by the school. He has been a role model for recognizing and amplifying student voices and promoting their passions and interests. 

His efforts have not gone by without reward, as students have received recognition at the regional, state and even national level. Students who are a part of various school programs and organizations, such as the school newspaper and broadcast, debate and forensics teams and the theater program, have been named VHSL Academic Champions nearly every year, and members of Chantilly’s DECA and Robotics teams have received countless awards for their achievements, including recognition at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC).

The Chantilly Academy boasts diverse career-centered classes as well as opportunities for hands-on work experience, such as culinary arts and firefighting. These courses have helped students find their path and plan for the future. 

Most notably, Dr. Poole has been a strong advocate for the First Amendment press rights, allowing student journalists to publish and broadcast stories on timely and often controversial and investigative issues without fearing censorship or penalty. According to the Student Press Law Center (SPLC), censorship of student journalism is a recurring pattern throughout the US, often in the form of withholding information or halting distribution. Our school prides itself on its recognition of student rights and the exemplary leadership of our principal. 

Beyond his position, Dr. Poole is also an active member of the school community, always taking the time to cheer on athletes in the stands and watch every theater production. He is supportive of all the theater department’s endeavors, whether it be branching out to try new shows or seeking new equipment to decorate the stage, and always gives pep talks backstage before performances. The performing arts department has been one of the largest in the county for more than two decades and Dr. Poole has honored its legacy. 

Whether standing outside his office to greet students or popping into classrooms to interact with students, Dr. Poole is a Chantilly parent and a citizen of our community before he is the principal. On behalf of the school, we extend a thank you to Dr. Poole for his efforts to put students and their voices first. We greatly appreciate all that our school has accomplished under your leadership and wish you the best in all your future endeavors.