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Meet Fauquier schools’ three newest assistant principals

Wednesday, Jul. 16 | By Staff
Fauquier County Public Schools' newest assistant principals, from left: Leah Shorb, Kimberly Payne and Mark Marchinetti.
Three Fauquier County Public Schools will have new assistant principals for the coming school year. On Monday, July 14, the School Board approved the appointment of Mark Marchinetti as the new assistant principal at Southeastern Alternative School, Kim Payne as the new assistant principal at Pearson Elementary School, and Leah Shorb as the interim assistant principal of Cedar Lee Middle School. All three appointments are effective July 16.

Mark Marchinetti at Southeastern
For the past three years Mark Marchinetti has been a teacher on administrative assignment, assisting the principal of the 1,100-student Parkside Middle School in Manassas. He is also Parkside’s testing coordinator, sixth-grade administrator and PBIS (Positive Interventions and Supports) facilitator. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he taught a block of the Cambridge Programme’s global perspective course.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Marchinetti enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves and was deployed to Camp Slayer Iraq from 2003-2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following his active duty service, he taught history, world cultures and geography at a middle school in Maryland for two years and then moved to Prince William County where for three years he taught U.S. history, civics and economics and served as the dean of discipline at Fred Lynn Middle School. Marchinetti also served as a summer school administrative intern in Haymarket. In 2011 he was promoted to the teacher on administrative assignment position.
Every teacher has his or her own story for entering the profession, but for Mr. Marchinetti, the seed of teaching sprouted in Iraq.

“It was actually during my time in Iraq where I started to really get a passion for teaching,” he said. “I wanted to really be able to make a difference in lives of our students and continue to serve my community and country.”

Born and raised in New Jersey, Marchinetti, 35, has a bachelor of arts in history and social sciences from Montclair State University and a master of arts in teaching from Monmouth University. He also holds a certificate in educational leadership from George Mason University.

He greatly anticipates his work at Southeastern.

“I was overwhelmed with joy after finding out that I was named the assistant principal for Southeastern Alternative School. I always wanted to work with students in an alternative setting and help struggling learners to be successful,” he said.

Marchinetti and his wife Melba have been married for five years; he is the father of two boys – stepson Marco, 12, and Nicolas, 18 months. The Marchinettis live in Gainesville. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, cooking, working out and doing landscaping.

Kimberly Payne at Pearson Elementary
Courtroom or classroom – While Kimberly Payne, new assistant principal at Pearson Elementary School, is trained for both, it was education, not law, that won out.

“It is wonderful to finally feel as though I have found my ‘home’ in education,” said Payne, who practiced both federal (Department of the Interior) and private general law (Fairfax County).

Her path to the classroom and, now, to the front office of the 400-student school in Catlett has been a circuitous one. Besides practicing law after graduating from George Mason University School of Law, she has managed an independent bookstore, worked for two corporations (Blue Cross Blue Shield and the American Psychological Association) and practiced real estate.

She came into education “through the back door,” she says.

“I began to teach music when I had my son and daughter. Looking for worthwhile activities for small children, I eventually opened a private Kindermusik studio in Warrenton for parents like me who wanted to enjoy music with their own children,” she said.

From there she moved into teaching music part-time in several local preschools, and, in time, moved into teaching music at Epiphany Catholic School, a small private elementary school in Culpeper.

“My love of teaching music was supported by those around me who encouraged me to go on and become licensed to teach in Virginia public schools,” she said.

In 2007 she became the music teacher at Pearson and after seven years becomes an administrator there. She said she treasured her experience as Pearson’s music teacher and feels humbled and excited to be selected as the school’s AP.

“Having been a member of the school community for a while, I am familiar with our principal, Mrs. [Cindy] Carter, and the faculty and staff, and have tremendous respect for all their abilities and talents. With this team in place I know that 2014-2015 will be a great year spent helping our students achieve and succeed,” she said.

Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Jacksonville, Fla., and Charlottesville and Warrenton, Payne, 52, has a bachelor of arts with a double major in music (vocal performance) and psychology from the College of William and Mary, a juris doctor from George Mason University School of Law, and a master of education in educational administration from Liberty University. She is currently working on her doctorate from the George Washington University educational leadership and policy studies program.

Payne said she spends most of her spare time with her family: Don, her husband of 25 years who works for the U.S. Treasury in D.C., and their two children, Sarah, who graduated from Kettle Run High School in 2013 and is a student at Lord Fairfax Community College, and Christopher, a rising junior at Fauquier High School. They live in Warrenton with their three cats and two dogs. She still does a lot of singing and enjoys directing a small hand bell group at her church. She said she loves to hike when she gets the chance, explore historic places in and around Virginia, and read.

Payne replaces Amy Angelo as assistant principal of Pearson. Ms. Angelo left FCPS to become principal of Boyce Elementary School in Clarke County, Va.

Leah Shorb at Cedar Lee Middle

Leah Shorb is serving as the interim assistant principal at Cedar Lee Middle School. The need for an interim assistant principal emerged when David Lee, Cedar Lee assistant principal for the past 20 years, was selected to serve as Cedar Lee’s interim principal for the next school year. The top position became vacant when Principal Steve Parker accepted a position as superintendent of Lancaster County Public Schools.

Shorb, 41, is home grown – born, raised and educated in Fauquier County; she attended Smith Elementary and Warrenton Middle and graduated from Fauquier High School in 1991. She has a bachelor of science in history from Mary Baldwin College and a master’s in education leadership and administration from George Mason University.

Shorb began her career in education as an English and world geography teacher at Marshall Middle School for six years, and during that time she pioneered an Standards Of Learning preparation course for at-risk learners, the first of its kind at the middle school level in Fauquier County.

She said she had always wanted to become a teacher.

“My mother and grandmother were both teachers,” she said, “and my sister is the assistant dean of fine arts at the Loudoun County campus of NOVA. Education has been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember.”

Shorb said she knew she was in the right profession her very first week of work.

“Mr. David Graham Sr. who was my high school principal, was also my first principal when I began my teaching career in Fauquier County at Marshall Middle School. He knew I would connect with the at-risk learner, and I did immediately. I have always loved working with students to help them find their place at school and to understand their unique gifts.”

She has been at Cedar Lee for the past nine years, where she has coordinated the alternative education program, taught civics and geography, and served as an administrative intern for the past six years, assisting administration however she was needed and serving as a substitute administrator.

“This specific on-the-job training has been a gift,” she said, “and I believe it has helped me to be very well prepared for the challenges I will face as interim assistant principal.”
She said she is thrilled and thankful to be given the opportunity to serve the Cedar Lee community and the county as an interim AP.

“I look forward to continuing the path towards academic excellence for all our Cedar Lee Middle School students. Under the professional and steadfast leadership of [Interim Principal] David Lee, he and I together will continue to ensure a positive, safe and inclusive environment,” she said.

Shorb has been married for 18 years to her husband Scott, and they have two daughters: Chloe, 15, a sophomore at Culpeper County High School, and Claire, 13, an eighth-grader at Culpeper County Middle School. Her hobbies include walking, hiking, reading and yoga.

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