Sometimes, the biggest changes to a community come knocking on the door unannounced. On April 23, Stone Bridge High School staff were called to a meeting where Principal Matthew Wilburn announced his acceptance of the opportunity to become director of the Monroe Advanced Technical Academy starting in the 2018-2019 academic year. The former Monroe Technology Center is becoming a part of the new Academies of Loudoun next year, and Wilburn is excited to take this next step in his career.
“I look forward to leading the Academy,” Wilburn said in an email to staff. “At the same time, I feel a great sadness at leaving my school community of the last 14 years.”
Wilburn earned his Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at West Virginia University. His time at Stone Bridge began in 2004 when he accepted the role of assistant principal after teaching in Manassas for some time. He was then offered Principal James Person’s position upon his retirement in 2014. Wilburn has held the title of Principal since then.
The rebranding of Monroe Technology Center as a part of the Academies of Loudoun offers Wilburn a unique opportunity to lead a new kind of school in Loudoun. The Monroe Advanced Technical Academy website states that their mission “is to provide significant and relevant learning in Career & Technical Education (CTE) which allows students to explore and innovate while preparing for 21st century college and careers.”
Taking the place of Wilburn next year is current Monroe Technology Center principal Timothy Flynn. Mr. Flynn is a veteran administrator in the county who has worked closely with Stone Bridge in the past through his former position as Belmont Ridge Middle School principal.
“(Mr. Flynn) was the principal at Belmont Ridge back when it was our feeder school and when most of our students came from there,” recalls Wilburn. “We have worked very closely together back in my time as an assistant principal at Stone Bridge. I know him very well and have a lot of respect for him, and I feel pretty confident that he’s going to continue the success that we have here”.
Flynn has already begun to establish himself with the Stone Bridge community, making an appearance at the rising freshman orientation on April 27. He introduced himself to the rising class of 2022 and the current Stone Bridge students who were running the orientation. Mr. Flynn made sure to encourage getting involved and emphasized the importance of fostering an open and inclusive school environment.
Transition of leadership can often be stressful for staff and students. However, through the close partnership between Wilburn and Flynn coupled with the support of teachers, administrators, and counselors around the building, Mr. Flynn hopes to take the reigns and bring Stone Bridge to new heights in the 2018-2019 school year.