Carol F. McIntire won't be staying after class at Oakland Mills Middle School next semester to offer encouragement and help to students in her after-school tutoring program.
McIntire, 54, an instructional assistant in special education, is at her Columbia home battling ovarian cancer.
But the program she started in 1987 -- Tutorial Opportunity Program for Success -- will continue.
Teacher's secretary Marjorie A. Kupiec has taken responsibility for supervising the twice-weekly tutoring program, with the help of reading specialist Deborah Jackson.
The program's $2,800 annual cost is covered for 1990-1991 by McIntire personally and the school PTA, whose members voted to contribute after seeing how well the program worked in its first year.
The tutoring plan was patterned on a similar program at Ellicott Mills Middle School.
McIntire enlisted top students from Oakland Mills High to tutor middle school students who need extra help with reading, homework, studying for tests or organizing their work. Tutors are paid $6 an hour.
What McIntire and the PTA have to show for their money is a program that works. In the last school year, 13 of the 17 middle school students who attended improved their grades.
Ten years ago, McIntire, who has a bachelor's degree in speech education from Northwestern University and a master's degree in library science from University of Maryland College Park, was a media specialist at South Carroll High.
"She wanted to work more closely with children," said her husband, Roger, who spoke for McIntire because she was too ill to be interviewed.
She quit her job and came to Oakland Mills Middle, where she was a media assistant for four years before becoming an instructional assistant in special education.
The McIntires have three daughters and one grandson. They are co-authors of "Losing Control of Your Teen." Their second book, "Teen-agers and Parents," was scheduled for publication last week.
"She has helped bring our school community together," Principal Marchmont A. Girod said. "She just reached out to everyone, and she's taught me a lot in the last several years."