By Ariana Estes

Harrisonburg Minnick recently welcomed Diane McLean to its staff as new head principal.

McLean comes to Harrisonburg Minnick with 13 years of special education classroom experience and 11 years in special education leadership roles. A Pennsylvania native, she holds a Bachelor of Education in both special education and elementary education from Kutztown University and a Master of Special Education from Portland State University with a certificate in autism spectrum disorders.

In her previous role, Mclean was a case manager for students whose public schools were no longer able to provide the supports they needed to be successful. As a case manager, she worked closely with Harrisonburg Minnick to set students up for success. Her positive experience working with Harrisonburg Minnick lead her to her new role.

“I’ve found the Minnick School to deliver high-quality academic services while addressing the students’ social and emotional needs. This is not an easy task, but something I’ve witnessed, observed and measured through the growth and successes of the students I personally knew and was invested in,” says McLean.

One of her priorities for the new school year is building, maintaining and strengthening relationships among staff, students, families, community service providers and local education agencies. She believes strong partnerships are the basis of individual student success. She also hopes to transition as many students as possible back to their public schools.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work with an innovative and successful team like the one at the Minnick School in Harrisonburg. I look forward to being a part of a team that makes such a positive impact on the lives of the students and families they were so hard for.”