Principal, Arlington Science Focus School

Mary E. Begley earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and secondary education and a master’s degree in reading instruction from Bowling Green State University. She also earned a certificate in administration from the University of Virginia.

She taught in Michigan and Ohio before moving to the D.C. area. From 1987-1995, Begley held a variety of teaching and administrative roles in the Alexandria City Public Schools.

In July 1995, she began work on a committee to establish a new school in Arlington. Through the research and work of the committee, Arlington Science Focus became a reality for students in September of that year. Begley served as a reading teacher and assistant principal in Alexandria and then as a reading specialist in Arlington prior to becoming the principal at ASFS in 1997. Through Begley’s leadership, ASFS was a finalist for the Intel Schools of Distinction Award last year and earned the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence for the past three years.

Begley has served in a variety of leadership roles countywide. She has chaired the elementary principals’ group and been part of the Language Arts Connections committee. She recently joined the staff development advisory committee and sat on a three-year statewide committee to develop Virginia’s fifth-grade Writing Standards of Learning assessment. She is in the process of redesigning the Investigation Station Science Lab in her school, which has been an exciting process for both her and the students.

In 2011, Mary Begley was named Principal of the Year for Arlington Public Schools. She works in a Professional Learning Community as a member of the Arlington Public Schools redesign committee for English/Language Arts, using flipped classrooms placing emphasis on literary success.  Additionally, for five years running she's been awarded the Governor's Award for Academic Excellence and proudly completes her 19th year of service to Arlington Public Schools in 2014.

“The biggest feature for me as a leader is to always put myself in the place of the teacher and say ‘how would this decision impact me as a teacher?’ and ‘how would it impact my children?’ and making sure that our children receive the best, most appropriate education they possibly can,” she says. Begley will continue to help  us advance responsibility by reinforcing to students that healthy living is a significant component to achieving success in life. 

We invite you to learn more about Mary Begley and the work she does.

Watch The Videos


Mary Begley on leadership and the role of                      Mary Begley talks about change, what
parents and The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility                                    she is most proud of, & what inspires her

See The Photos


View the other People to Watch »