STEPHENSON — Justin Raymond, principal at Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School, said he’s excited to start serving as principal of the new Jordan Springs Elementary, effective July 1.

Jordan Springs will be Frederick County’s 12th elementary school. It is under construction and will open to students in the fall of 2020.

While Raymond is ready for the opportunity to help open the new school, he said it will be “bittersweet” to leave Apple Pie Ridge Elementary, where he has been principal since 2013.

“Apple Pie Ridge is where I first had the opportunity to serve as a principal and I’m proud of the students, teachers, parents and others who worked together to serve all of our students well,” Raymond said in a news release. “While I have many fond memories of my six years at Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School, I’m looking forward to the new challenge of opening Jordan Springs Elementary School, hiring an outstanding staff and working together with students and their families to make the school a special place.”

Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent David Sovine called Raymond “student-focused” and said he “understands the importance of building relationships with students, parents, teachers and staff in order to help students reach their full potential.”

Before coming to Frederick County Public Schools to work at Apple Pie Ridge, Raymond was an assistant principal at Rosa Lee Carter Elementary School in Ashburn in Loudoun County for about three years. He began his career in education in 1997 as a special education teacher in Winchester Public Schools for four years. He then taught special education for eight years at Lincoln Elementary School in Purcellville in Loudoun County. He served as the summer school principal at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in 2009 and as an administrative intern at Hutchison Farm Elementary School from August to December of 2009.

Raymond said his vision for Jordan Springs is a school that is very collaborative in nature, with a lot of project-based learning opportunities. Collaborative learning spaces will be part of the new school’s design. He also plans to make the school very student-driven and focused.

He explained that collaborative work helps students grow because they are more willing to take risks.

He added that he’s grateful to school officials for entrusting him with the responsibility of helping to open the new school.

“Something like this doesn’t come along very often,” Raymond said.

Raymond earned bachelor of science degrees from Edinboro University in elementary and special education. He earned a master’s degree in education leadership from George Mason University.

Salary information for Raymond was not immediately available Wednesday.

Jordan Springs is being built for $27 million on Flyfoot Drive in the Stephenson area near the Snowden Bridge housing development. Construction began in July 2018. The 82,300-square-foot building will be able to accommodate 508 students.

In March, it was announced that the new school’s mascot will be the wolves and its colors will be navy blue and light teal.

The news release did not include information on the school division’s plans for finding a new principal for Apple Pie Ridge.

— Contact Anna Merod at amerod@winchesterstar.com

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