Dear Parents/Guardians:

I am excited to introduce myself as the principal of the newly named Covington-Harper Elementary School that will serve our community starting August 28.

Covington-Harper is now complete, with final steps toward occupancy under way. Its name honors two people who made huge contributions to our students and community.

Mrs. Betty Covington served the Division for more than 50 years, including 19 as principal at Kilby Elementary, and 14 on the School Board. Mr. John Harper, Jr. broke barriers in 1995 as the first elected African-American in Prince William County, winning a seat on the School Board as a representative for the Neabsco district. He was also the first black to lead a Prince William County department when he was named director of the Dale City Sanitary District and Recreation Center in 1987. Both Mrs. Covington and Mr. Harper are beloved for service in and beyond their Potomac District, and especially for always putting the needs of children first.

My own feelings as your new principal blend gratitude with excitement. My career began 22 years ago, when I became a fifth-grade teacher at Mary Williams Elementary in its opening year. Later, I was assistant principal there, prior to becoming assistant principal at Swans Creek Elementary. Until recently, I was principal of Leesylvania Elementary School.

I have strong relationships with families and communities I have served, and have started developing new relationships in the Covington-Harper community. I strive for a positive and safe school culture that promotes learning and inspires collaboration between parents, students, and teachers. As a collaborative leader, I value input from students and families. Teamwork is vital to success; and I look forward to working together to make our new school something very special for our students, our staff, and our community.


Ron Whitten
Covington-Harper Elementary School