Head of Lower School
Dr. Mary Dickerson

Overseeing McLean School’s youngest students, from kindergarten through fourth grade, Dr. Mary Dickerson, Head of Lower School, has the guiding motto as clear and compact as they come: children first!

Mary's drive is to make all children feel special—to feel recognized for their abilities, interests, and talents, and become the best they can possibly. She brings more than two decades of leadership experience as Principal in public schools, and Division Head, and Head of School in independent schools. Prior to entering school leadership, Mary taught music to students at pre-school, primary, and secondary levels.
Mary was drawn to McLean’s “student-centered learning environment, which encourages independence and self-advocacy.” She brings a passion for meeting the needs of diverse learners, including through the use of music and the arts as a mechanism for self-expression and empowerment, and is deeply committed to leadership and support of teachers.
Mary holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Boston College, an Ed.M. in Educational Leadership from Harvard University, an Ed.M. in Education from Lesley University, and a B.M.E. in Music Education from the University of Kansas. She has taught and is currently teaching graduate level courses to aspiring school leaderes, including Curriculum and Instruction; Advanced Theory and Practice in Early Childhood Education; Values, Ethics, and Professionalism; and Race, Class, Power in Schools, and Classroom Action Research.  

Mary plans to sustain the full force of the mission of McLean—where children are kind to their peers, where children are motivated intrinsically to work hard, and where children know their unique gifts are recognized. The Lower School banner in the hallway states, “McLean Lower School, Kindness is Spoken Here.”

K-12 College Preparatory School Supporting Bright Students’ Individual Strengths and Challenges.

McLean School is an independent, co-educational, K-12 day school serving Maryland, Washington, and Virginia. McLean has for over sixty years been helping students realize their full potential by providing a comprehensive college preparatory program that emphasizes small classes and differentiated instruction. We embrace both traditional learners and ones with mild to moderate learning challenges – dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, and challenges related to anxiety and executive functioning. Many of our students excel in some areas while benefiting from support in others.
8224 Lochinver Lane, Potomac, Maryland 20854  301.299.8277  admission@mcleanschool.org