Director Announces Retirement

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Director Announces Retirement

Dr. McGee explains the

Dr. McGee explains the

Photo by Srishti Sanya

Dr. McGee explains the

Photo by Srishti Sanya

Photo by Srishti Sanya

Dr. McGee explains the

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Effective November 30th, Dr. Jeffrey W. McGee will be retiring from his position as director of Maggie Walker. Dr. McGee has held this title since August of 2012, and will be relinquishing it in favor of new opportunities.

Dr McGee emphasized that he considers his tenure at Maggie Walker to be the pinnacle of his career in academia. “I’ve got a pretty broad picture of schools and education, particularly in Virginia.” stated Dr. McGee. “And this has been a wonderful opportunity to work with fantastic staff, teachers, students, families, PTA members… and volunteers.” He has been nothing but impressed with Maggie Walker students, teachers, and other involved members of the educational community throughout his time at the school, but what will stick with him most is the “synergy” that manifests itself within the school, which Dr. McGee largely attributes to the student body.

“It really does create a consciousness that is much greater than any single individual, so our school is certainly larger than any of us, because of all the great people that come together to make it what it is.” he said. “Those are the things I am going to remember most.”

Dr. McGee has established his departure from the school as a “retirement,” but maintains that he has encountered new ways to branch out in terms of his career. Additionally, he wishes to move certain parts of his life closer to his family. “When [people] get to an age when they’re eligible for retirement…opportunities tend to crop up as well as their family’s life cycle. My wife and I have a bit of flexibility around the empty nest.” Dr. McGee said. He cannot disclose what opportunities have been made available to him for the time being but claimed that, “We [my wife and I] are vetting through a couple of opportunities right now…once we settle on that surely I will be more than happy to share.”

The individual that will occupy the vacancy left by this departure is unknown to the Maggie Walker community and to Dr. McGee. “If there’s a retiree that comes in and carries the school into the spring, or if they advertise and bring someone in permanently…I’m sure it will clear up.” He has not spoken with Maggie Walker’s board and superintendent regarding an interim director, but believes that all parties involved are developing plans with the intention of smoothly filling the gap.

The student body of Maggie Walker received the news of Dr. McGee’s departure in different ways. Said senior Jackie O’Neil (‘17), “I’m definitely sad to see him go. Dr. McGee has been consistently nice and helpful to me during my years at Maggie Walker and I definitely consider him a pillar of our school. Whether it’s his bad jokes or friendly face or impressive ability to remember the names of students he’s only met once, I’ll miss him being here as I finish off my career at Maggie Walker.” Will Hoffler (‘18) said he feels “slightly confused” regarding the director’s departure, and claimed that Dr. McGee’s actual interaction with the student body seemed extremely limited.

Honor council representative Narmeen Rashid (‘19) described the news as bittersweet. “On one hand, I am excited that the case about the Honor Council may be reignited, perhaps leading to its former duties being fully restored. However, there is a risk that the new director will only push for the removal of the Honor Council completely.” she explained. “ I know that Dr. McGee was faced with difficult scenarios and handled them in his own way, by establishing committees. I hope that the new director makes more decisions solely based on feedback from students and faculty, without having to consult a group of outsiders to reapprove or disapprove their wants.”

“[Dr. McGee] will leave a controversial legacy following the honor code situation, but he did have positive impacts such as creating a more diverse and rich Maggie Walker community,” said Ben Hazelton (‘18), an honor council member. Asha Iyer (`17) agreed, also adding that “a lot of things are changing, and there are many directions that we could go. I hope that the new director, whoever they may be, will have a good understanding of this school, its students, and its goals and values as an educational institution.”
Dr. McGee envisions the future of Maggie Walker as a process in development that will continue to set the school apart from any other- “in terms of continuing to be a pioneer, not only with having the best and brightest students, but also providing opportunities for students that are very much unlike anything that exists, because [these opportunities] are designed for high ability learners… my hope is that we will continue our initial steps to being innovative.”

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