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Marple 2022 Principal of the Year


Robert Marple, the principal of Cedar Lane Elementary, has been selected as Loudoun County’s nominee for the 2022 Washington Post Principal of the Year Award. The nominee for this award serves as Loudoun County’s Principal of the Year.

According to his nomination packet, Marple leads by example.

“Whatever expectations Mr. Marple holds for the staff, he has even higher expectations for himself. He comes into school every day with a positive attitude and commitment to the school. He is always ‘on,’ quickly responding to concerns and addressing issues, even during the evenings and on weekends. This commitment to the school, staff and parents not only keeps him apprised of the happenings at the school, but also sets a good example for those working with him, making him an extremely effective manager.”

“From his work with students, parents, staff and the community to his leadership among his professional colleagues, Mr. Marple demonstrates the best qualities we seek in our principals and educational leaders,” former LCPS Superintendent Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick III wrote in a letter supporting Marple’s nomination. “He continues to be actively involved in classroom activities and the development of the lives of his students. He is at ease with parents and the community because he understands the challenges that all face every day.”

“Even with his embrace of the ‘new,’ Mr. Marple remains dedicated to ‘old-fashioned’ values of kindness, respect for, and taking care of one another, and the creation of a school culture in which students are excited to come to school and find joy and enjoyment in learning,” wrote Cedar Lane Assistant Principal Krister Tracey.

The nomination packet also notes the effect Marple’s consistently positive personality has on the school community.

“Students never see a frown on his face, and they light up when he walks past. He is so inspiring to our young people and he respects the students and staff and their passions and ideas. He is not afraid to try new things and is always looking to grow our school community to continue to give back to the world around us.”

The nomination packet detailed Marple’s efforts to keep his school safe, yet functioning as normally as possible, throughout the pandemic.

“Recognizing the unique challenge of reducing and preventing COVID transmission in the lunchroom, Mr. Marple created lunch spaces throughout the school. Now children alternate between eating lunch in the classrooms, in spaces set aside in the corridors, outside in the courtyard (weather permitting), and in the socially distanced cafeteria.

“During the height of the pandemic, to keep morale up and the children reading, Mr. Marple worked with the school librarian to deliver books to children through a mobile book bus. Mr. Marple joined the librarian several times on the book bus, coming out himself to greet and chat with the children.”

A stellar athlete at Musselman High School in Bunker Hill, W.VA., and at Shepherd College, Marple draws on his athletic background to create a team spirit at Cedar Lane, as noted in his nomination.

“Bob treats every day as ‘Game Day,’ and encourages staff and students to give it their all in making it a productive day of learning and enjoying being together. All of his stakeholders are encouraged to take calculated risks because he knows you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. He has fostered a culture that allows failure but teaches us that failure is only temporary if you keep on trying.”

Cedar Lane first grade teacher Muffy Robey first met Marple in 2008, when she was a parent at Hamilton Elementary, where he then served as principal. Her letter offered the perspective of working with Marple as a parent and teacher. “I have now known Bob Marple for 13 years and have worked with him as a classroom teacher for six of them. Bobs’ best quality as a principal is his emphasis on relationships first. Following a year of uncertainty for all, he continues to emphasize the value of the child, teacher, and parent connection. As a parent at Hamilton with a student population of 170, you would expect for it to feel like a small community. To create that same atmosphere at a school of 800 takes something special. It takes dedication, enthusiasm, and a tireless commitment each and every day.”

Marple has served as Cedar Lane’s principal since January 2013. He previously served as principal of Hamilton Elementary School (2009-2013); as assistant principal of Evergreen Mill Elementary School (2006 –2009); as assistant principal of Park View High School (2005–2006): as assistant principal of Lowes Island Elementary School (2003-2005); as a dean at Farmwell Station Middle School (2001-2003); and as an itinerant elementary physical education instructor for Leesburg Elementary, Hamilton Elementary and Cool Spring Elementary.

Marple holds a bachelor of arts degree in physical education and health education from - Shepherd College and a master of science in education degree from Shenandoah University.

Previous recipients of the Loudoun County Principal of the Year Award include:

Mary Lee Phelps (1986)

Bernice M. Nicewicz (1987)

William L. Whitmore Jr. (1988)

Francis R. Fera (1989)

Terrence W. Hill (1990)

Dennis A. Young (1991)

Kenneth W. Culbert (1992)

Michael A. Megeath (1993)

Ronald E. Dyer (1994)

James E. Person (1996)

Mary B. Morris (1997)

Wayne C. Mills (1998)

Charles J. Haydt (1999)

Laurie C. McDonald (2000)

Nancy E. McManus (2001)

Dr. Virginia M. Minshew (2002)

Dr. Edgar T. Markley (2003)

Dr. Susan P. Browning (2004)

Dr. Jack Robinson (2005)

Margaret A. Huckaby (2006)

Eric L. Stewart (2007)

Paul L. Vickers (2009)

Dr. John Brewer (2010)

Timothy J. Flynn (2011)

James E. Dallas (2012)

Janet A. Platenberg (2013)

Andrew J. Davis (2014)

Sherryl D. Loya (2015)

Michael A. Pellegrino (2016)

John G. Gabriel (2017)

Paul Pack (2018)

Jennifer M. Short (2019)

Kirk A. Dolson (2020)

Shontel D. Simon (2021)

Robert L. Marple (2022)


*No award was presented in 1995 or 2008.

Published April 21, 2022