Announcing our next Head of School!

Last April, Karen Dresden announced that she would be stepping down as our Head of School after 23 years of service to Capital City. Building on her legacy, we are incredibly excited to announce that after a lengthy and nationwide search, our Board of Trustees has selected Laina Cox to be our next Head of School starting July 1, 2023.

Laina Cox headshot

Laina, our founding Middle School Principal, will be only our second Head of School in the school’s history and our first Black leader. Laina is a 21-year veteran in the field of education having served as a teacher, administrator, EL Education school designer, principal and most recently in 2022, a School Ambassador Fellow for the United States Department of Education, selected as one of only six in the country. She was also named the 2018 Silverberg Leadership Awardee by EL Education.

Laina at the Dept of Education
Laina receiving the Silverberg Award

"We are excited by Laina’s vision for Capital City and confident in the experience and expertise she brings to this position. We know she will continue to build on the more than two decades of innovation and excellence in education to push the school forward," notes our Board Chair, Dr. Nitika Tolani, who also served as the Chair of the Head of School Board Search Committee.

"Laina’s commitment to equity, focus on student voice, and vision for Capital City really inspired me and made me excited for my children’s future," says Quameice Harris, Parent Trustee on the Head of the School Board Search Committee and mom to three Capital City students. Laina will take the helm of Capital City at a pivotal point as the school continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic and deepen its focus on equitable outcomes for all students through its current three-year strategic plan. The Board of Trustees looks forward to supporting her in this new role and Capital City through this important chapter.

Laina Cox with students

"I am honored to have been selected by our Board of Trustees and I cannot wait to help our entire PK3-12th grade students, teachers, administrators, and Central Office staff continue to be a model of excellence for the District of Columbia, EL Education, and the entire country," Laina exclaimed.

Karen Dresden will also be working closely with Laina to set her and the school up for success during this transition. We continue to be grateful for Karen’s tremendous and innovative leadership since Capital City’s beginnings. Because of Karen’s tireless work and her dedication to our students, staff and families, Capital City continues to be a leader in the field of education and is a school that so many have called home. We will officially recognize and celebrate her work and Capital City on Saturday, May 20 from 6-9pm at Hook Hall. Please stay tuned for a more formal invite in the coming months.

Email with questions or to get in touch with Laina before she officially returns to Capital City.