Vera Blake is a retired principal of Falls Church High School in Fairfax County, VA. She was the 1999-2000 Fairfax County Principal of the Year and was one of the 1999-2000 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leaders. In addition, Blake served as principal at Holmes Middle School of Alexandria, VA, for 12 years and was the 2000 Virginia Middle School Principal of the Year. Vera Blake stresses that schools cannot move forward without empowering teachers and focusing on the integration of teacher leadership at all grade levels. She believes that “the power of teachers to lead and impact instruction and student achievement often goes untapped.”
During her 12-year tenure as principal at Holmes, Blake oversaw the implementation of the middle school concept. Also during her tenure, Holmes was recognized as one of a small number of middle schools in Fairfax County whose students achieved satisfactory performance on all the Virginia Standards of Learning tests. Holmes was the only school of those cited with a highly diverse socioeconomic and cultural student population.
Vera Blake‘s long list of professional experiences and affiliations includes serving as an educational consultant to schools and districts nationwide and working as a school improvement coach in several school districts including Illinois and Virginia. In addition, she is the lead school improvement coach for all of the K-12 U.S. Virgin Island Public Schools. She has served as an adjunct professor for Virginia Tech and George Mason University, taught a mentor-trainer course in the Fairfax County beginning-teacher induction program, and served on the National Membership Committee and the National Equity Task Force for the American Association of University Women.
Blake earned her bachelor’s degree from Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA; her master’s degree from the University of Virginia-Charlottesville; and her doctorate from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
Vera Blake was a contributing author to the book, Transforming Ourselves, Transforming Schools: Middle School Change (NMSA, 2001), co-authored “Middle School Partnerships: The More, the Better”(Principal Magazine, Fall, 1999) and “Addressing Diversity Through Partnerships” (Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, Summer, 1998).