Chris Smith Announced as New Katherine Johnson MS Principal

Fairfax County Public Schools Region 5 Assistant Superintendent Rebecca Baenig and City of Fairfax Superintendent Jeff Platenberg joined the Katherine Johnson MS (KJMS) staff today to announce Chris Smith's selection as the new principal. Earlier this year current principal, Dr. Tammy Sillipigni, announced her retirement. 

Smith, a seasoned educator with 26 years of experience, has a proven track record of leadership. He has been serving as the principal at Daniels Run ES, a feeder elementary school to KJMS, since 2019. Prior to DRES, he held the position of assistant principal at Brookfield Elementary School and Katherine Johnson MS (then Lanier MS). Smith's journey in education began as a social studies teacher/department chair in FCPS and neighboring districts. He is a proud alumnus of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education. He received a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from George Mason University. 

In his letter to DRES parents, Smith praised his time at DRES. "This decision was not made lightly, as my time at Daniels Run has been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Over the past six years, I have had the privilege of working alongside an exceptional staff, engaging with our bright and talented students, and forming strong bonds with our supportive families. Your dedication, passion, and commitment to our school community have truly made a lasting impact, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of it."

City of Fairfax Superintendent Jeff Platenberg commended Smith at the announcement. "The City of Fairfax welcomes Chris back to Katherine Johnson MS, and is grateful he will remain in our City school community. I have had the honor of working with Chris and admire his strong leadership, collaboration, and calm demeanor. I know our students benefit by having him in our City of Fairfax family and look forward to his tenure at KJMS."

Smith has reassured DRES parents that the transition will be smooth. “FCPS Region 5 and the Department of Human Resources are committed to working closely with the DRES community and the City of Fairfax Schools Leadership in the coming weeks. Their goal is to appoint a new principal who will continue to foster a caring and responsive culture of high expectations for all, ensuring the school's continued success.”