Beloved by students, staff and families, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School (Tucker Elementary) Principal Rene Paschal has been selected as the National Distinguished Principal Award recipient by the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals (VAESP).
Principal Paschal has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, counselor and administrator. He joined Tucker Elementary in 2011 and calls himself the luckiest man alive. “The broader community embraces diversity at Tucker in a way that has a positive impact on student achievement and school culture,” said Paschal.
Known for his leadership ability, Paschal oversees a student population at Tucker Elementary of more than 700, with students whose families came from across the world. Operating under a modified school calendar, Tucker Elementary offers the Intersession program (extended learning) that is unique to its schedule. Assistant Principal and Intersession Coordinator Adaarema Kelly says the innovation they have incorporated into Intersession as far as STEM and science learning is “due to the leadership of Mr. Paschal.”
Five years ago, Principal Paschal also was instrumental in obtaining the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant for an after-school program. Teacher and 21st Century Grant Coordinator Donna Anthony commends Paschal, “Whatever it is that is going to bring success to the kids and show academic achievement, he lets you do it.”
The VAESP National Distinguished Principals award program recognizes and celebrates elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families and staff in their learning communities. Kelly says Principal Paschal “does an excellent job of meeting the needs of students, our families and supporting our teachers, especially during the pandemic.”