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FCPS NAMES FHS Interim Principal & Director of Communications

Mr. Jim Raines & Erica Yelland


Fauquier County Public Schools

News Release


October 13, 2023

Phone (540) 422-7000


FCPS NAMES FHS Interim Principal & Director of Communications

Fauquier County Public Schools (FCPS1) announced one change in position and one addition to the team at Tuesday night's (October 10th) school board meeting. Fauquier High School (FHS) assistant principal, Mr. Jim Raines, will serve as interim principal for the remainder of the school year. Mr. Raines assumes the position, due to the passing of beloved principal, Kraig Kelican. Additionally, Ms. Erica Yelland, former Department of Defense Education Activity Public Affairs Specialist and Program Director for the Department of Defense, will become the Director of Communications of Fauquier County Public Schools and will replace former director, Tara Helkowski.

Mr. Jim Raines– Fauquier High School Interim Principal

Mr. Jim Raines will become the interim principal at Fauquier High School. He will vacate his current assistant principal position and assume the FHS principal position after the passing of beloved principal, Kraig Kelican. 

When asked what he is most looking forward to in this position, Raines shared, “I am looking forward to interacting with our students and parents in a slightly different way. We have a great school community and it is a pleasure to serve them in this capacity. We will continue to strive for educational excellence and prepare our students for life after high school.”

Raines is a veteran educator and shared that this is his 40th year with Fauquier County Public Schools. Early in his career, he taught business courses at FHS, TMS, CLMS, and MMS. When Liberty opened in 1994, Raines taught there until 2002. Throughout this time, he also coached football and wrestling. In the summer of 2002, he returned to FHS as an assistant principal and has since enjoyed serving the students, parents, and staff.

Raines has an undergraduate degree in Business from West Liberty State College and graduate degree in Education from Shenandoah University.

Outside of work, Raines enjoys spending time with his wife of forty years, Kim. They have four wonderful children, two outstanding son-in-laws, and four delightful grandsons. 

Raines also enjoys helping others. He and his family have participated in more than twenty mission trips around the country and beyond. They also enjoy many sporting events together, to include Washington Nationals games and playing recreational soccer.


Ms. Erica Yelland – Director of Communications of Fauquier County Public Schools

Ms. Erica Yelland, will become the Director of Communications of Fauquier County Public Schools, starting October 30th. Yelland fills the position vacated by former director, Tara Helkowski, who took a Director of Media and Communications position with Frederick County, Virginia Public School System in early September. 

When asked what she is most looking forward to in her new position, Yelland stated, “As a proud FCPS1 graduate, I am thrilled to be a part of such a hardworking and dedicated community. This inspiring community is home to some of the most innovative and impressive educators and students, and I am honored to join them on their journey. It was in Ms. Colvin's classroom at Liberty High School that my passion for communications first started, and I am overjoyed to return to the place where my story began. It feels like coming home!”

Yelland is looking forward to serving families, students, staff, and the community in this role for Fauquier County Public Schools. She stated, “Each day, we achieve outstanding results, offer outstanding programs, and provide exceptional services to our community. I look forward to sharing all the incredible stories that come out of this community”.

Yelland comes to Fauquier County Public Schools with six years of experience in school communications. She previously served as a public affairs specialist for the Department of Defense Education Activity and public relations coordinator with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. She is also a U.S. Navy veteran and has served as a mass communication specialist, specializing in public affairs and visual information. 

Yelland is a graduate of Liberty High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Longwood University and a master’s in business administration from Strayer University.

She is a proud mom of two children, an eight-year-old son, Grayson, and a six-year-old daughter, Rayden. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, traveling, and spending time with her family.