Dr. Bonitatibus named Region 2 Outstanding Principal


Courtesy of FCPS

Dr. Fabio Zuluaga, assistant superintendent for Region 2 surprises Dr. Bonitatibus with the Region 2 Principal of the Year award. “Two and a half years ago I entered [Jefferson] with a dream that we would be leaders in bringing wellness and balance to the forefront of the [Jefferson] experience, without sacrificing academic excellence,” Bonitatibus said. “I am truly humbled and honored to represent such an exceptional faculty, staff, student and parent community.”

Nirja Divekar, Staff Writer

 Jefferson Principal Dr. Bonitatibus received the Region 2 Principal of the year award for effectively fostering a creative environment. As an effort to celebrate employee success and increase recognition of outstanding employees across the school system, a series of awards were created. The FCPS Employee awards is an annual awards program that allows employees to be nominated in several different categories, Principal of the Year being one. 

Not only was our school principal Dr. Bonitatibus voted the Region 2 Employee of the Year, but several other staff members have been selected in their respective categories. English teacher Denise Castaldo, History teacher Gwendolyn Wright, Safety and security assistant Charles Phillips, School Counselor Susan Martinez, and Student Activities Director Rusty Hodges were all selected as TJHSST employees of the year. The overall FCPS Principal of the Year will be announced at a ceremony at George Mason University on June 10.

Dr. Fabio Zuluaga, assistant superintendent for Region 2, and Ms. Penny Gros, executive principal for Region 2, visited Jefferson on January 21 with the surprise announcement for Dr. Bonitatibus. The nomination process, run by Mr. Michael Yohe, allowed students, parents, and staff to vote for their choice of Employee of the Year. Teachers, students, and parents wrote letters and filled out the forms for the six nomination packets that were sent to Region 2 Leadership, the committee that selects finalists to advance to the ceremony held in June.

“Nominators had to speak to my ability to foster cooperation in the school community, maintain continuing dialogue with everyone in our school community, manage effectively, encourage creativity and innovation, demonstrate leadership and commitment, and encourage team spirit,” Bonitatibus said. 

As Jefferson’s principal, not only does Dr. Bonitatibus know how to uphold the school’s environment that she has created, but she also understands how important it is to address the staff members that help her make this school a better place.

“The accolades from the Region 2 office are a reflection of, and extend to, each and every member of the TJ community.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity to represent all that TJ has to offer,” Bonitatibus said.