Welcome, Principal Hunstad!

By Douglas A. Tyson, Assistant Superintendent, Region 1
June 22, 2021
Candace Hunstad and Douglas Tyson
Principal Candace Hunstad (right) is introduced to the Herndon Elementary School staff by Douglas Tyson, Assistant Superintendent of Region 1.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Candace Hunstad, current principal at Fairhill Elementary School, has been selected as the new principal of Herndon Elementary School effective July 1, 2021. We thank Interim Principal, Marti Jo Jackson, for her positive leadership throughout this school year. She will continue to serve the Herndon Elementary School community through June 2021. Ms. Hunstad and Ms. Jackson will immediately start collaborating to ensure a smooth transition.

Ms. Hunstad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the principalship. She has been a highly effective principal within FCPS for the past four years at Fairhill Elementary School. As a leader, Ms. Hunstad builds and sustains strong relationships with students, staff, and parents and works to build partnerships with the total school community. She is driven to provide a rigorous instructional program to all students.  As an instructional leader, Ms. Hunstad led her staff in increasing student achievement and closing achievement gaps. Under her leadership, Fairhill Elementary School received multiple awards including the Virginia Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award, the Virginia Board of Education Purple Star School Designation for demonstrating a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military, and the Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award for demonstrating progress towards excellence and closing gaps in achievement. As a school leader, Ms. Hunstad received three Superintendent’s Excellence in Equity Awards. She was also a nominee for the 2018-2019 FCPS New Principal of the Year Award and a 2020-2021 nominee for the FCPS Principal of the Year Award. Ms. Hunstad is the current President-Elect of the Fairfax Association of Elementary School Principals. Ms. Hunstad is dedicated to improving the success of all students, has demonstrated progress toward closing achievement gaps, is a champion for equity, and is conversationally fluent in Spanish. 

Ms. Hunstad is a member of the Herndon community and was an Assistant Principal at Herndon Elementary School prior to her appointment as Principal at Fairhill Elementary School. Ms. Hunstad has over 15 years of experience as a teacher and school administrator.

Ms. Hunstad received her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from Mary Washington University, a Master of Science in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University, and her endorsement in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia. 

Please join me in welcoming Candace Hunstad as the new principal of Herndon Elementary School.