Birus takes over after 12 years GLEN BURNIE


September 01, 1993|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

The opening of school today marks a homecoming not only for the students of Glendale Elementary School but also for their new principal, who started his career there 12 years ago.

John T. Birus takes over the school's reins from longtime Principal Marvin Heptinstall, who retired July 1 after 22 years at the school on Carroll Road.

"He leaves some pretty big shoes to fill," said Mr. Birus, 34. "Every parent in the community seems to know him. Many of them remember having him as their principal."

But Mr. Birus, who introduced himself to parents Monday night said he is not nervous about the first day.

"The parents have been real accepting and positive, and I have great assistant principal, Jean Marie Hofstetter," he said.

Mr. Birus said he is looking forward to greeting students on th front steps of the school where he landed his first job teaching students with behavioral and emotional disturbances after earning a bachelor of science and master's of education degree at the University of Pittsburgh.

"That's where I met my wife, Lynn, . . . teaching down the hall, the Johnstown, Pa., native said yesterday as he made last-minute preparations for opening day. "There are just a lot of good memories here."

Since then, he has worked as a pupil personnel worker, helping )) students with severe attendance, emotional and family problems, at Overlook, Linthicum and North Glen elementary schools and the former Andover High School.

Three years ago, he went to Southgate Elementary as an administrative trainee; last year, he was an assistant principal at HighPoint Elementary.

His first major challenge begins with this morning's bell. Mr Birus said he hopes to learn the names and faces of every one of Glendale's 520 students and 44 instructors.

"It's really nice when the principal knows their names, not just o those who are in the office all the time, but the quiet ones in the classroom, too," he said.

A Laurel resident, Mr. Birus describes himself as a family man and has two young children -- Jack, 5, and Madalynn, 4 months.

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