2021 | Schools

UPDATED: Churchill principal will resign to take new role in MCPS

Assistant principal to fill in until replacement is hired

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This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. on June 8, 2021, to include more information from MCPS.

Winston Churchill High School Principal Brandice Heckert will resign from her position next week to take a different position within the school district, according to a letter she sent to families and staff members on Monday.

In her letter, she wrote that she will “be transitioning to another position within Montgomery County Public Schools” beginning July 1, and that she will remain at Churchill through June 18 “to support a successful end of the school year.”

She did not disclose what the new position is, nor did a school district spokeswoman when asked by Bethesda Beat on Tuesday.

Heckert was appointed as principal of Churchill, in Potomac, in May 2018. She was previously an assistant principal at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

In her letter on Monday, Heckert wrote that she has “been honored to have been the principal of Winston Churchill High School” and that she has “worked with the most talented and dedicated staff to serve a truly wonderful community.”

“During the last three years, we have been successful at empowering student voices,” Heckert wrote. “Together we have strengthened our sense of belonging and have embraced traditions as well as started new ones. In addition, we have weathered an unpredictable storm during these unprecedented times. I will forever look back on the work we have done together with honor and pride.”

She wrote that Area Associate Superintendent Cheryl Dyson is expected to follow up “in the coming days regarding next steps in the principal selection process.”

In a message Tuesday afternoon, Dyson wrote that one of Churchill’s assistant principals, La Faye Howard, will serve as acting principal until a new principal is hired. Dyson wrote that a new principal is expected to be appointed in early July.

A virtual community meeting to gather feedback about the next principal is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

The school’s previous principal, Joan Benz, was in the role for 21 years.

Churchill High School has an enrollment of 2,245 students, according to MCPS data.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com