A graduate of West Springfield High School, Cliff personified precisely what FCPS aims to instill in its graduates—a dedication to the community, a genuine love for all people he came across, and a well-rounded personality that included a love of running and the outdoors.
In his career with Fairfax County, Cliff served as guidance counselor at Edison, guidance director at West Potomac, assistant principal at Hayfield and at Thomas Jefferson, and most recently, principal at West Potomac since 2009. Prior to that, he worked in Richmond City and Chesterfield and Prince William Counties.
This past year, Cliff was everywhere. From School Board SR&R work-sessions to the Women’s Sports Awards ceremony, he truly prized the opportunity to speak up for, represent and honor the West Potomac community that he loved. He would always send me reflective emails after I would see him at events or speak with him about an issue—the mark of an outstanding teacher and learner.
Last month at West Potomac’s graduation, Cliff was all smiles and laughs as usual. When the ceremony came to a close, I met with him backstage in the staging room. He must have said to me “thank you” for attending three or four times (which was typical), and I could tell he was sad to see the students go.
But he was full of spirit and eagerness for the year to come—and he looked back into the staging room several times before he departed, clearly immersing himself in the happiness of the occasion and reflecting on the opportunities he had brought to so many students.
We will miss you, Cliff.