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Leadership Team

Meet our Principal and Assistant Principals

Adaarema Kelly

Adaarema Kelly became the principal of Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School in 2022. She has served as the assistant principal and intersession coordinator at Tucker since 2017 and helped develop and manage the school’s improvement plan. Mrs. Kelly began her career in 2001 and has a strong background in special education.

As a military spouse, Mrs. Kelly served as a teacher in schools overseas as well as stateside, including Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). At Alexandria City High School, she worked as an AVID instructor and the lead mentor and restorative practice facilitator. She also served as an educational leader as summer learning principal and lead mentor within ACPS and as a Great Beginnings coach and administrative intern within Fairfax County Public Schools.

Mrs. Kelly holds degrees from The George Washington University, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Susquehanna University. She is also a doctoral candidate in educational leadership and administration at The George Washington University. Mrs. Kelly’s extensive professional learning record includes the National Aspiring Principals Academy 2021 (Cohort 2) held by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, ACPS Coaching Model, and New and Aspiring Leaders, Harvard University.

Phone: 703-933-6304


Jerylen Lavender Daniels
 Assistant Principal

Jerylen Daniels is an assistant principal at Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School. Mrs. Daniels career in education began in 1994 and she has taught at a variety of elementary and middle school grade levels in Fulton County, Georgia and throughout Northern Virginia, including serving as an interventionist at Patrick Henry K-8 School. In addition to her work supporting students as a teacher, Mrs. Daniels also was an assistant principal at Dale City Elementary School in Prince William County, Virginia. She has a bachelor’s degree from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Huntsville, Alabama. She also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and supervision from George Mason University. Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Message from Principal Kelly

Dear Samuel Tucker Families,

It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I write to introduce myself as the next principal of Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School! What an honor it is to be selected to lead this amazing school. I have been affiliated with Tucker for the past twelve years, first as a parent and then, over the last six years, as assistant principal and intersession coordinator. As principal, I will continue to build and foster relationships and pledge to use all of my strength, passion and fortitude to uphold our motto, “Samuel W. Tucker Elementary…A Proud Tradition, A Great Future.”

I want to congratulate Mr. Paschal on his upcoming retirement and thank him for providing such quality and visionary leadership at Tucker. Students have thrived under his direction and we are so proud that he was recognized as one of the most successful and well-respected principals in Virginia!

I would like to share a little bit about my background. I was born in Accra, Ghana, spent my formative years in West Philadelphia (Go Eagles!) and my high school years overseas. After graduating high school in Hong Kong, I returned to the U.S and matriculated from Susquehanna University, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and The George Washington University. Throughout  my career of more than twenty years, I have been a strong advocate for students and their families. Prior to coming to ACPS, I worked in six different school districts both in the U.S. and abroad as a proud military spouse.

My  philosophy is that everything we do is with the best interest of our students in mind. I am determined to support every child, every day at Tucker. It is my commitment to the community to bring the energy, enthusiasm, and thoughtfulness needed to keep Tucker the exemplary school it has always been.

I will be scheduling “meet and greet” opportunities soon. Please know I am working hard to ensure Tucker has an amazing first day of school on July 26, 2022.

I leave you with a saying attributed to our namesake, Mr. Tucker: “Work Hard to get Smart!”

Principal Kelly holds up a piece of paper that says "work hard to get smart" in front of a portrait of Samuel Tucker


Adaarema S. Kelly