About Our School

About Our School

Betty Covington and John Harper

Our school is named for two amazing people who have been well known for their contributions in Prince William County.

Betty D. Covington

Betty D. Covington served Prince William County Public Schools for more than 50 years, as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and School Board member. Mrs. Covington retired in 1995, after 19 years as Principal of Kilby Elementary School. In the following year, she was elected to the School Board as the Dumfries (now Potomac) Magisterial District member. But running a school was in her blood; in 1997, she returned to PWCS as principal of Dumfries Elementary School, remaining until her second retirement in 2003. She was then re-elected to the School Board for three consecutive four-year terms. Ms. Covington also was elected to the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Board of Directors. She represented the VSBA on the Virginia Department of Education Gifted Education Committee and served several years on the Board of Directors and Awards Committee at University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. Mrs. Covington was reared in Robeson County, North Carolina, and graduated from St. Pauls High School. She earned her Bachelor of Science from East Carolina University, then pursued her graduate degree in administration and supervision from the Curry School, while working full-time as a classroom teacher in PWCS. Her appointment as assistant principal of Dale City Elementary School made Mrs. Covington one of the first female administrators in PWCS. In 1974, she was named principal of the Saunders Kindergarten Center, the county's first public kindergarten. Mrs. Covington has mentored and guided many aspiring educators, including several who have gone on to become administrators. Her leadership, community service, and advocacy for children, especially those in need, brought her numerous accolades. She received the Star Award for Endless Dedication to Youth and the Educator of the Year Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs; in the future, the latter award will be presented annually as the Betty Covington Educator of the Year Award. Mrs. Covington also received many Distinguished Woman of the Year Awards from the Soroptimist Club, the Zontas Club, and the Commission for Women. In 2009, the Prince William County Human Rights Commission gave her its Human Rights Award for her advocacy for the students of Prince William County. The Kilby Elementary School gymnasium and Dumfries Elementary School library are named in her honor. Throughout her career as a teacher, administrator, and School Board member, Betty D. Covington always put children first. She made sure that all children received a top education and the foundation to achieve their potential, regardless of ethnicity or wealth.

John Harper

John Harper is considered a trailblazer for Prince William County (PWC), as the first African American in many distinguished posts, including that of Prince William County School Board member; member of the Board of Directors for the Prince William County Park Authority; member of the Board of Directors of the PWC Committee of 100; Department director in the Prince William County government for the Dale City Sanitary District and Recreation Center; and Grand Marshal of the Dale City Independence Day Parade, the signature celebration for the community of more than 40,000 residents. Mr. Harper has been a passionate voice for progress and opportunity for youth since settling in Prince William County with his family more than 30 years ago. His experience in the United States Army and advanced academic studies honed his leadership and management skills. He is a Vietnam War veteran and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 23 years. His military honors include a Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and a Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Air Medal, Aircraft Crewman's Badge, Combat Infantryman's Badge, and a National Defense Service Medal. He is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Army's Logistics Executive Development Course. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) degree from Howard University, he earned a Master of Arts in business management from Central Michigan University. He is also a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy. While serving on the Prince William County School Board, Mr. Harper initiated a review of the revenue sharing agreement for the school division, leading to an increase from 49 percent to 53 percent and over $25 million in additional annual funds for Prince William County Public Schools. As Director of the Dale City Recreation Center, he implemented "Midnight Basketball" to give teenagers and young adults a positive environment and opportunities to enhance athletic abilities and build social and leadership skills. During this period, he also was a volunteer mentor at Minnieville Elementary School. In 2003, Mr. Harper was appointed by Virginia Governor Mark Warner to the Board of Trustees for the Virginia War Memorial Foundation. He was subsequently re-appointed in 2006 and 2010 by Governor Timothy Kaine. He was awarded the "Trailblazer Award" in 2014 by the Virginia Leadership Institute for his outstanding service to the community.