Meet the Jefferson-Houston Leadership Team
Dr. John McCain, is the Transformational Head of School for Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School. Prior to July 2020, Dr. McCain served as an elementary and middle school principal, assistant principal and a support specialist for teachers, providing coaching to teachers to help them improve their academic outcomes.
Dr. McCain has also served as an area superintendent of elementary schools, and Advisor for the Principal Leadership Academy at Highpoint University in North Carolina, where he facilitated training sessions to provide feedback around the recruitment and selection process of teachers.
He began his career in education as an elementary teacher of grades four and six in Mebane, North Carolina. Dr. McCain quickly moved to a position as assistant principal and served as a middle school principal in Roxboro, North Carolina from 2007 until 2011. That is when he moved back to elementary education as a principal in Durham, NC where he eventually served as Area Superintendent of Elementary Schools. More recently, Dr. McCain has worked in the private education sector as an education support specialist for a firm in North Carolina.
Dr. McCain has a doctorate in educational leadership from Highpoint University in North Carolina. He also holds a Masters in Supervision and Administration, K-12 from North Carolina State Agricultural and Technical University and his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education is from Winston Salem State University, also in North Carolina.
Ms. Young was recently promoted to Academic Principal after serving as Assistant Principal at Jefferson-Houston since 2019. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Curriculum, and Post-Masters Certified Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Administration. She possesses the impetus, drive, and ability to lead school improvement efforts, especially for schools designated at Title I.
Ms. Young has decades of experience that includes working in various schools and grade levels. Her prior leadership experiences include: serving as Specialist for the South Carolina Department of Education for Title I schools needing support and instructional coaching, serving as an Assistant Principal in elementary and middle schools, serving as a math specialist and serving as a representative on several district and state committees. On an international level, she has served as a Fulbright Memorial Fund participant to Japan; and she was instrumental in helping her former school become an International Model PLC school. In addition to serving in these leadership roles, Ms. Young has proudly taught elementary and middle grades as a teacher leader. These opportunities demonstrate her flexibility, strong curriculum background, appreciation for diversity, and ability to collaborate with students, teachers and families in any school system and on any level.
Ms. Young’s experiences and background illustrate proven, effective leadership capabilities to support instruction and contribute to Jefferson-Houston’s continued success. She has supported literacy, math and science instruction in elementary and middle grades, created innovative ways to meet the needs of all learners and leveraged resources to support students’ academic, social and emotional growth. She has received several awards and recognitions throughout the years with the most recent award being named a K-12 DIVE Rising Principal. However, she believes there is no greater award or achievement than the joy of working with students, families and staff to give students what they need to succeed.
Ms. Brown-Dunn has been at ACPS for the last 7.5 years and has served as a classroom teacher, an Equity Advisory Committee member, and a Reading Interventionist, PreK - 8th grade. She has been in the field of education for 28 years. Ms. Brown-Dunn earned her B.A. in English with a minor in History from Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama, a Masters of Education in Educational Supervision and Administration Prekindergarten - 12th Grade from Regent University, and is currently completing an M.Ed with an endorsement as a Reading Specialist from Regent University. As the Dean of Students, her main goal is to cultivate a culturally responsive, restorative, and safe environment for students, their families, teachers, and staff.
Francise Fernandez has been an educator for 14 years. She has taught in Fairfax County, New York City, and Alexandria City; at both Jefferson-Houston PK-8 and Naomi L. Brooks Elementary.
Ms. Fernandez returns to Alexandria City Public Schools from Washington, D.C., where she served as an Assistant Principal at a PK-8 school. Her goal as an educator has always been to create an environment in which students are not only an active part of their own learning, but one in which they are able to see themselves reflected in the community and curriculum through which they are being taught.
As a teacher and leader, Ms. Fernandez has led and facilitated school-based professional development for teachers and staff in elementary and middle school; coached teachers around instructional practices and inquiry; and conducted targeted action research in mathematics classrooms in order to positively impact mathematics achievement among students.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Temple University, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Wilmington University; and an Education Specialist Degree in Administration and Leadership, through George Washington University.