Principal's Message

  • Welcome to Frederick Douglass Elementary School! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by our website to learn more about the opportunities available for our children and families. I invite you to visit our school in person to learn even more about our instructional program.

    At FDES, we work each day  to prepare our students to achieve great success in an ever changing world. Our global theme, Growing Global Leaders in Language and Literacy,  provides a real world context for learning, allowing students to make connections with other cultures, locations, environments and relationships around the world. We provide rigorous learning opportunities to meet the needs of every student, from engaging Science and Math activities to dual language immersion instruction. Our classrooms establish the pathways and supports for each student to discover his or her own passion for learning.

    In our dual language immersion classes, children learn a second language in a natural way through everyday conversation and content instruction. Students spend 50 % of their time learning in a Spanish-language classroom and the other half of their time in an English environment.This develops fluency in two languages and fosters caring, respectful and supportive cross-cultural relationships.

    Our dual language program is currently offered in Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade. We are proud to have an outstanding staff, including 10 international teachers who provide Spanish instruction for our students.

    I am confident that you and your child will find our school  to be a positive, nurturing learning environment where you are always welcome.  I encourage you to get involved in all that goes on at FDES.  There are several ways to stay in touch. Each grade level team will communicate on a monthly basis through a classroom newsletter which can be found on our website.   Follow us on Twitter(X)@FDESPandas and feel free to contact me through email at any time.  I welcome your suggestions, comments, and ideas.  Don’t forget to be a part of the FDES PTO, another great way to get involved.

    Together, staff members, families, and community members make FDES an amazing place every day. ​The possibilities are endless!  I hope you will join the excitement!


    Melissa Maestle
    Principal

Education & Experience

  • Ms. Melissa Maestle grew up in a small rural town in Northern Pennsylvania that is known for drawing in tourists who like to ski and snowmobile.  She graduated from Mansfield University in 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.    

    In the summer of 2007, Ms. Maestle was hired to teach Kindergarten in Culpeper County, where she taught for the next 7 years.  During that time, she also spent time teaching third and fourth grade.  After earning her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Mary Washington University, Ms. Maestle was hired as Lead Teacher at Frederick Douglass Elementary school and began her job here in July of 2014.

    During her free time, Ms. Maestle enjoys doing anything outdoors.  Skiing, hiking, and riding horses are among her favorite activities.  She travels to Pennsylvania several times a year in order to visit her family and catch up with high school friends.