2023 Loudoun County Principal and Teacher of the Year Winners Announced


Hovatter Elementary School Principal Lori Mercer received the 2023 Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Principal of the Year award. Dominion High School Social Science Teacher Steve Hicks received the 2023 LCPS Teacher of the Year award. A special recognition ceremony took place for both winners at their respective schools on Friday, April 19, and on Tuesday, April 25, at the School Board meeting.

Mercer’s career began at LCPS in 1994 as a teacher (grades 3 and 4) at Cool Spring Elementary. From teaching, Mercer transitioned to school administration first as the assistant principal at Hutchison Farm Elementary and then to the assistant principal at Belmont Station Elementary. In 2012, Mercer assumed the role of principal at Belmont Station Elementary. Under her leadership, Belmont Station received multiple Governors’ and Board of Education awards. In 2021, Mercer became the inaugural principal of Hovatter Elementary.

Hicks’ teaching career began as a special education teacher. Student and colleague recommendations state that Hicks is engaged with Dominion’s diverse community and encourages all students to push themselves academically and personally. One former student wrote, “Mr. Hicks’ mentorship prepares students for the future, helps them generate the meaning of the past, and empowers them to use their knowledge and passions outside the classroom.”

To be considered for Principal of the Year, nominees must be full-time principals (at the elementary, middle or high school level). Each nominee must have a minimum of five years of experience as a principal, three of which must be in LCPS, and nominees must currently be an administrator. 

To be considered for Teacher of the Year, teachers must be certified, full-time teachers (including itinerant and resource teachers) in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 and must currently be working for LCPS. All teachers must have a minimum of five years of teaching experience, three of which must be in LCPS at the time of nomination.





Published April 26, 2023