New Wetsel Principal Named: Donald Dodson

Email from Division Superintendent, Matt Eberhardt to all Employees:


Today, the School Board named Donald Dodson as the new Wetsel Principal replacing the popular and successful Timmy Taylor who accepted a job at the University of Virginia in June.

In his first year as Principal in 2012-2013, Timmy turned Wetsel into what Attendance Secretary Debra Dean – joined by all of the Wetsel School family – says often: “The number one school middle school in Virginia.”

As of July 1, 2016, retired MCPS Assistant Superintendent Allan McLearen has served as Interim Principal of Wetsel Middle School.

As you know, Donald is currently the Assistant Principal at Waverly Yowell Elementary School.

Regarding the interview process, I did not participate in the first round of interviews but joined the Wetsel Committee at day’s end of interviews thinking there would be some discussion on which two or three candidates to move forward in the second round of interviews.

In a matter of minutes, the Interview Committee selected him above all others and did not want to proceed further.  In no uncertain terms, they told me they wanted Donald Dodson as the next Wetsel Principal.

I did conduct a second interview with Donald.  In our time together, I was impressed with his:

  • passion for Madison;
  • strong, strong, strong demand for student success;
  • strong, strong, strong demand for teacher success:
  • heart in working with a superior faculty and staff;
  • planned and well-thought out 90-day entry plan that focused on community connection and spending time with school families; and,
  • appreciation for Timmy Taylor and Allan McLearen’s guidance and legacy.

Donald is a 1998 graduate of Madison County High School and a 2002 graduate of Virginia Tech.  Donald received his master’s degree in Public School Administration and Supervision from Capella University in 2013.

Please join me in celebrating the School Board’s decision to hire Donald Dodson as the next Principal at Wetsel.



Life is Good.


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