ASCD Faculty Bio
Vera J. Blake
Blake was formerly the principal of Falls Church High School in Fairfax County, Va. She was the 1999–2000 Fairfax County Principal of the Year and one of the 1999–2000 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leaders. In addition, Blake served as principal of Holmes Middle School in Alexandria, Va., for 12 years and was the 2000 Virginia Middle School Principal of the Year. 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 and successfully added grade 6 to the existing 7th and 8th grade programs at Holmes. Holmes's middle school program helped pave the way for the implementation of the middle school program in all of Fairfax County's former intermediate schools. 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.
Blake's long list of professional experiences and affiliations includes serving as an educational consultant to schools and districts nationwide, serving as an adjunct professor for Virginia Tech and George Mason University, teaching a Fairfax County Public Schools mentor trainer course for secondary mentors in the beginning teacher induction program, and serving 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., master's degree from the University of Virginia, and doctorate from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Blake is a member of ASCD’s Differentiated Instruction and What Works in Schools cadres.