These Principals Are High-Mileage

These Principals Are High-Mileage 


Principals cover a lot of ground.




Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) asked three principals to record the number of steps they took as they opened school for the 2023-24 school year.


Lightridge High School’s principal, Dr. Ryan Hitchman, walked the equivalent of 12 miles during his first two days of school. After logging 9,199 steps (four miles) on the first day – Thursday, August 24 – Hitchman had a very busy Friday.


“I began the day at 6 a.m. with our Senior Sunrise Event at our main stadium and ended my day at 9:45 p.m, covering the Lightridge-Freedom football game. On Friday, I logged 18,730 steps or a little over 8 miles.”


Brambleton Middle School Principal Chad O’Brien logged 14,108 steps (7.42 miles) on the first day of school. Among the things that contributed to that total were:

  • Walking the halls and cafeteria during breakfast and morning locker time;
  • Visiting classrooms and learning spaces (gyms, auditorium, music, etc.) for instructional practices;
  • Walking the halls for supervision;
  • Supporting students during class transitions and finding classrooms;
  • Visiting BAMex (Brambleton’s annex at Independence High School):
  • Student lunch visits and supervision;
  • Sixth-grade Chromebook distribution (Brambleton distributed more than 550 new LCPS Chromebooks to its sixth-graders);
  • Student dismissal, family car line support, supporting students finding their bus, communicating with classrooms about bus dismissal; saying “Good-bye” to all.


Sterling Elementary Principal Jennifer Short also was on the go from well before school started, until well after the bell signaling the end of the first school day rang. “I walk around a lot. I checked on each classroom in the morning, car-rider duty, visited classrooms, was in the lunch shifts, PM car-rider duty and then we had the mobile clinic; so I walked some families back and forth in the parking lot. I don’t even know, but my feet hurt. I do know that!”