Five new principals take the helm

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Five new principals will join the ranks of Arlington diocesan schools this year.

Maureen Ashby, principal of Holy Spirit School in Annandale, was born in Lowell, Mass. She earned a bachelor's from James Madison University in Harrisonburg in 1990 and a master's in education from Marymount University in Arlington in 2009. She holds a Virginia Catholic Education Association license.

Ashby has 14 years of teaching and six years of administrative experience in the diocese. She taught at St. Luke School in McLean from 1997 to 2005 and at Holy Spirit School from 2005 to the present. She also served as assistant principal at Holy Spirit since 2008.

Ashby and her husband, Michael, have two children. She replaces Sarah O'Fallon, who retired after serving as principal for nine years.

Cindi Conroy, principal of St. Joseph School in Herndon, was born in Hancock, Mich. She earned a bachelor's from Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio, in 1990. She earned a master's from the University of Phoenix in 2010 and a master's in education from Marymount University in Arlington in 2013. She holds a Virginia state license.

Conroy has 18 years of teaching and three years of administrative experience in the diocese. She taught at St. Thomas More School in Arlington from 1990 to 2000 and at Linton Hall School in Bristow from 2003 to 2011. She became assistant principal at St. Joseph School in Herndon in 2011 and served there until this year.

Conroy's husband, David, is principal of All Saints School in Manassas. She replaces Joan Cargill, who served as principal for 26 years.

Darcie Girmus, principal of St. Mark School in Vienna, was born in Geneva, Neb. She earned a bachelor's from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1986. She earned a master's in education from the University of Nebraska in 1989 and a second from Marymount University in Arlington in 2011. She holds a Virginia state license.

Girmus has 11 years of teaching and seven years of administrative experience in the diocese. She taught at St. Mark School in Vienna from 2003 to the present and served as assistant principal since 2010.

Girmus and her husband, Greg, have two children. She replaces Karen Toohey, who served as principal for the past year.

Kathleen McNutt, principal of St. Louis School in Alexandria, was born in Chicago, Ill. She earned a bachelor's from James Madison University in Harrisonburg in 1991. She is a candidate for a master's in education from Marymount University in Arlington in May 2015 and holds a Virginia state license.

McNutt has five years of teaching and two years of administrative experience in the diocese. She has taught at St. Louis School since 2009 and has served as the school's assistant principal since 2012.

McNutt and her husband, Geoff, have five children. She replaces Dan Baillargeon, who served as principal for eight years.

Susan Parks, principal of Sacred Heart Academy in Winchester. She replaces Rebecca McTavish, who retired after serving as principal for seven years.

Parks returns to Northern Virginia after serving as principal at Annunciation Catholic School in Havelock, N.C. She grew up in Maryland and lived in Northern Virginia for several years.

She earned a bachelor's in elementary education from George Mason University in Fairfax, a master's in education administration from the University of Scranton and a master's in religious education from Loyola University in New Orleans.

She is pursuing a degree in educational leadership from Northcentral University.

She has four children and seven grandchildren.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2014