Mrs. Kelly Rooney

Mrs. Kelly Rooney

Mrs. Kelly Rooney

Welcome to Highland Park Elementary School!  I am honored to serve as your principal. 

I am a product of Fairfax County Public Schools and James Madison University.  My B.S. degree is in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from James Madison University and my M.Ed. is also from James Madison in Educational Leadership.  My educational career began in Harrisonburg, VA where I taught third grade for four years.  After our first son was born, I switched jobs and worked part time at the Young Children’s Program, the laboratory preschool at James Madison University.  After a few years, I also began teaching pre-service teachers who were working on their Master’s degree.  The two courses I taught were relating to creativity and the arts in elementary school classrooms and parent & community engagement.  I also served on the Harrisonburg City School Board.    

In 2016, my husband and our two sons and I moved to Roanoke.  Our sons are both in high school now but attended Crystal Spring Elementary School, James Madison Middle School and Patrick Henry High School.   I served as the assistant principal at Fallon Park Elementary for three years and then moved to Highland Park as the assistant principal for two years before being named the principal of Highland Park Elementary School.   My husband is also an elementary school principal at Crystal Spring Elementary School.   Our two sons are busy athletes competing in football, swimming, basketball and cross country.  We also love to travel and see new places!   

My Educational Philosophy:

I am a student-centered educator and leader and know it is important to celebrate and learn from each individual child, meet them where they are developmentally, and then guide their understanding of the skills and content necessary to become a successful student.  Children learn best when their needs are met, and when they are physically, psychologically, and culturally safe and secure.  The foundation of exemplary teaching and learning is a caring, respectful, and trustful relationship between the teacher and the individual learner (and between learners).  We must express our beliefs for the limitless potential of each student while establishing high expectations for all members of the learning community.  Children learn best when content and skills are learned in a meaningful and relevant context.  They also learn best when they are allowed to communicate and interact about what they are learning. 


I believe that establishing a respectful and evolving working relationship with the families and children whom I work with has been fundamental to improving student outcomes in areas related to achievement, attendance, and discipline.  Removing barriers that impede access to families has been crucial to our efforts to provide equitable opportunities for all children in the pursuit of closing the achievement gap and providing an excellent educational experience for ALL students.   Developing 21st century skills must also be a priority in schools to ensure we are preparing our youth to be resilient, successful, life-long learners.  

I am looking forward to making every day the best day for our students and staff here at Highland Park.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions and concerns at [email protected] or 540-853-2963.