A Message from Hollymead's New Principal

Dear Members of the Hollymead Community:

 I have the honor and privilege of becoming Hollymead’s new principal. I am very excited to be coming to Charlottesville, an area in which I have family ties and have visited every year over the past 25 years. My wife, Nancy, and my two sons, Mason and David, are in the process of relocating and are very much looking forward to joining our new community.

Since 2017, I have been the principal of Ogden Avenue School in La Grange, Illinois, which is located just southwest of the city of Chicago. During my time there, it was important to me to partner with teachers and our district to embed greater rigor into our curriculum and teaching practices in our already high-performing school. Together, we prioritized equity-based practices, which included improved Response to Intervention systems of support for students.

I’m very excited to join Albemarle County Public Schools, and especially Hollymead. Your vision for student learning makes this a fantastic opportunity for any school leader. Few can match your caring and active community of parents and staff and your passion for teaching and learning. I'm eager to work with our entire community, supporting your great work with students.

A little bit more about my background: My undergraduate degree in English is from the University of Kansas, and I have a master’s degree in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University as well as a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Roosevelt University. I began my career in education with Chicago Public Schools as a teacher for students with IEPs in grades 5-12. I also served for nine years as a special education teacher at the Molloy Education Center in Morton Grove, IL. Prior to becoming Ogden Avenue’s principal, I was an assistant principal for two suburban Chicago school districts in both elementary and middle school settings.

As we prepare for the 2022-23 school year, I am looking forward to meeting and talking with as many of you as possible and to gain from your ideas for our school’s continuous improvement. I hope to soon be in touch regarding specific opportunities for us to visit.

For everyone in education, the past few years have indeed been challenging, but even more impactful has been the devotion of our teachers and staff, the support of our parents, and the resiliency of our students in continuing to excel. My best wishes for a well-deserved, safe, and enjoyable summer break.


Joe McCauley