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Vera Blake is a retired principal of Falls Church High School in Fairfax County, VA. She was the 1999-2000 Fairfax County Principal of the Year and was one of the 1999-2000 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leaders. In addition, Blake served as principal at Holmes Middle School of Alexandria, VA, for 12 years and was the 2000 Virginia Middle School Principal of the Year. Vera Blake stresses that schools cannot move forward without empowering teachers and focusing on the integration of teacher leadership at all grade levels. She believes that "the power of teachers to lead and impact instruction and student achievement often goes untapped." [+]