New leadership at Mack BennPublished 10:06pm Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Students at Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School will start the school year next month with a new principal, David M. LeFevre.
Before coming to Suffolk Public Schools, LeFevre was principal at Holland Elementary School in Virginia Beach. He served a total of 15 years with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, including as an assistant principal.
Beforehand, he was an assistant principal with Loudon County Public Schools, and assistant principal and instructional leader in Martinsburg, W.Va., where he taught for nine years, according to a news release.
“It’s more personal over here than it is in Virginia Beach,” LeFevre said of the move to Suffolk. “There’s a lot more individual contact with parents and with the community.”
While LeFevre’s previous school had about 535 students, Mack Benn has about 715, he said. But the demographics are “about the same,” he added, with both being Title I schools.
LeFevre, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Shepherd College and a master’s from West Virginia University, described his personal approach to the job as connecting with his educators and drawing on the resources of the wider community.
“My personal approach is really getting to know my staff and getting to know their strengths with teaching,” he said.
“I’m really excited about getting to know our community leaders and working with them.”
Getting to know and working with parents will be another priority, he said, adding, “We can’t do it on our own.”
While some other new principals this year will work to attain full accreditation, LeFevre takes the helm of a school already fully accredited.
But he won’t be resting on his laurels, he said.
“We want to make sure we are always on the forefront of any new technology or classroom instruction.
“The teachers here are phenomenal, but my focus will be making sure we have a high level of achievement.”
LeFevre’s wife is a first-grade teacher at Butts Road Primary School in Chesapeake, and they have two children in the Chesapeake school system, 14-year-old Abbey and 15-year-old Tyler.
Meanwhile, School Board members also named a new assistant principal at King’s Fork High School, Bryan D. Thrift, who was an assistant principal in Isle of Wight for four years, and a teacher there for four years.
Thrift, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University and a master’s from the University of Phoenix, also taught for two years in Hanover County and one year in Northumberland County.