New principal continues building great traditions


New Principal Dr. Claire LeBlanc welcomes the students in the gymnasium for the first all-school assembly on September 9.

23 “first day of school”s have gone by, yet only three different principals have been there to welcome back the dolphins after their summer break.

On September 6, a not-so-unfamiliar face greeted the students as their new principal.  After seven years of working alongside previous Principal Dr. Cheryl Askew, who transferred to Landstown at the end of the last school year, Dr. Claire LeBlanc got the opportunity to continue her journey with the Ocean Lakes as their principal.

“As an assistant principal, I feel like Dr. Askew prepared me very well, but I’m very fortunate in that I only had to move offices, next door, instead of moving across town,” said LeBlanc. “So I feel very comfortable here; I feel very blessed to be here.”

In 2009, Dr. Sheila Magula, then the acting superintendent of the Virginia Beach school district, hand-selected Leblanc to be mentored by none other than Cheryl Askew.

“[Magula] wanted me to have exposure to what she considered to be an outstanding female role model as principal” said LeBlanc.  “And I understood the moment I stepped foot in this building why I was here.”

Following the strong foundations of education and tradition laid by previous principals Jerry Deviney and Cheryl Askew, LeBlanc assures no major changes will be coming to the school.

“As far as goals for the year I just want to keep getting better,” said LeBlanc. “Together I know we can.”

One major priority of the year is to uphold the great tradition of doing things the “dolphin way” and maintaining the family atmosphere, according to LeBlanc.

“(Ocean Lakes) is just a very positive, upbeat place, and you’re surrounded with very positive, upbeat people,” said Leblanc. “There’s never been a bad day at Ocean Lakes… There are days you get frustrated, but there has never been a bad day at Ocean Lakes.”

Surely not every single day is going to be perfect, but with the current track record of dedicated students and the hardworking faculty and staff, another successful year will go down in the history books.

“We don’t let anybody fall through the cracks,” said LeBlanc. “And I know that was Dr, Askew too, I just want to continue on that mission.”