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Leadership Team

Meet our Principal and Assistant Principals
Penny Hairston

Penny Hairston has been the principal at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School (Douglas MacArthur) since 2020. Mrs. Hairston served as assistant principal for both James K. Polk Elementary School (Polk Elementary) and Douglas MacArthur from 2011-2015 until her full-time appointment as assistant principal at Polk Elementary. She began her career in education in 1996, serving as a fourth and fifth grade teacher who helped to open Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School in 2000. In 2020-2021, Mrs. Hairston was appointed as one of the charter members of the African American Superintendent’s Advisory Council (AASAC), which provides ongoing recommendations to the state superintendent and the Virginia Department of Education. Mrs. Hairston holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and education and received her master’s in educational leadership from the University of Mary Washington.


Rebecca Pittman
 Assistant Principal

Rebecca Pittman joined Douglas MacArthur Elementary School (Douglas MacArthur) as assistant principal in 2019. She has served Alexandria City Public Schools since 2013, spanning three elementary schools and a number of progressive leadership roles. Prior to joining the leadership team at Douglas MacArthur, Mrs. Pittman served as data intervention coach and school testing coordinator at Naomi L. Brooks Elementary School. She was a fourth grade teacher at Mount Vernon Community School. She also taught third grade in Baltimore City Public Schools. Mrs. Pittman earned her Bachelor of Science at Virginia Tech and her master’s in educational administration from Grand Canyon University.


Paul George
Assistant Principal

Paul George came to Douglas MacArthur Elementary School as an assistant principal in 2022. Mr. George has been an educator for over 30 years, holding positions which included math teacher, technology integration specialist, assistant principal, academic principal and summer school principal. Joining Alexandria City Public Schools in 1996, Mr. George has served in various capacities at schools including, George Washington Middle School, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, John Adams Elementary School, and Francis C. Hammond Middle School (Hammond) where he also supervised the citywide special education program. During his time at Hammond as part of the administrative team and staff, the school achieved the Virginia Department of Education’s most improved school designation prior to the pandemic. Mr. George also served as an educator in Wilmington, Delaware and Fort Myers, Florida. Mr. George earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics with a concentration in education from DeSales University. He earned a Master of Arts degree in religious studies from The Catholic University of America and a graduate certificate in school administration and supervision from Johns Hopkins University. Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His.