Like many of her co-workers, Kristin Tait knew she wanted to be a teacher while growing up. A love for leadership came later, she... New principal on board at Ecoff Elementary School
Kristin Tait talks to first-grader Stephen Schultz on his first day of school in Stacey Blaha’s class. Tevin Nguyen is in the background.

Like many of her co-workers, Kristin Tait knew she wanted to be a teacher while growing up. A love for leadership came later, she said.

Tait began working as the new principal at Ecoff Elementary School Jan. 7, replacing Joshua Cole, who was principal at the school 9 1/2 years and accepted a job as director of strategic engagement at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education.

Tait, a northern Virginia native and graduate of Potomac High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland and a master’s degree in educational leadership from VCU.

Her desire for leadership blossomed while working as a lead mentor at her second teaching job, she said. That position at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Woodbridge involved supporting new teachers, in addition to her regular fourth-grade classroom duties.

In her first job, Tait taught fourth and fifth grades at Mechanicsville Elementary for three years. She was at Rosa Parks for another three years before working four years as a math coach in the Hanover School District.

Tait comes to Ecoff from Swift Creek Elementary in the Clover Hill District, where she was assistant principal for 3 1/2 years.

“It’s been a great transition,” she said. “I feel very humbled and fortunate to be a part of this community.”

Her first goal is to learn all of the students’ names over the next two to three months.

She has some goals that she will begin implementing with teachers at the 712-student school in the fall, she said.

“We will work together to capitalize on each child’s strengths while preparing them for their future,” she said.