Alex Case has resigned as principal of West Potomac High School, he announced in a letter sent to the school community this afternoon.
“I am writing today to announce my decision to step down as principal of West Potomac High School,” Case wrote. “As you might imagine, this has not been an easy decision to make after almost ten years in service of our community in roles that include classroom teacher, assistant activities director, assistant principal, and principal.
“Yet I am excited to pursue new opportunities to serve our community while also dedicating more time to my family, which has been challenging while working so tirelessly to champion the excellence we so consistently see from you and throughout all parts of West Potomac High School.”
Case’s resignation was effective Feb. 24, according to Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman John Torre.
Case has been on leave from the school since at least Feb. 13, when a letter was sent out to parents informing them of his absence. No reason was given for Case’s leave, and Torre would not comment beyond what was said in the original letter.
West Potomac assistant principal Michelle Lyttle is also on leave, with FCPS confirming her absence from the school at the same time that Case’s was announced.
No update on her status has been given. Lyttle is still on leave as of Feb. 27, Torre said.
On Tuesday, Dale Rumberger took over as interim principal at West Potomac. Rumberger is a longtime teacher and administrator in FCPS, and previously served as principal at Chantilly, Westfield and South County, and was named FCPS Principal of the Year in 2007.
Case had served as principal of West Potomac since December 2013, when he took over in the wake of former Principal Cliff Hardison’s death in July 2013.
School board member Karen Corbett Sanders, who represents the Mount Vernon district, said she has full confidence that West Potomac’s administrators and Rumberger will capably fill the void left by Case’s unexpected departure.
“We have a fantastic interim principal there who will provide the leadership and support necessary to keep the school moving in the right direction,” Corbett Sanders said. “I have absolute confidence that [the West Potomac staff and administrators] are going to keep their eye on the ball and keep their eye on what’s important to all of us, which is student success.”
Corbett Sanders said the search for West Potomac’s new principal will begin soon, starting with informational meetings with members of the school community to get input on what characteristics they would like in the head administrator.
Terry Dade, assistant superintendent for FCPS Region 3, said in a letter accompanying Case’s letter that more information will be forthcoming soon on the search.
“In the weeks ahead we will provide additional details regarding the principal search process and ensure your voice and input are incorporated,” Dade wrote. “Thank you for your continued support of this great school.”
This story was updated Monday, Feb. 27 with information from a Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman.