Enthusiasm marks first sojourn as principal GLEN BURNIE

September 08, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

Every so often, Rose M. Tasker looks around at an office filled with plants and cards from well-wishers, gazes at a teddy bear and pinches herself.

"This is my first principalship," Mrs. Tasker says. "I am going to have a really good school year."

After 24 years working in Anne Arundel County public schools, including a year and a half commuting between two schools as an assistant principal, she delights in saying that she is the new principal of Woodside Elementary School.

She calls the school's 283 pupils "my students," the building that opened its doors in 1965 "my school," and the PTA "my parents." "I'm going to meet with my parents on Thursday," she says, referring to the first official session she will have with the PTA executive board. Back-to-school night is Sept. 23.

PTA President Russell Furness already has met with her and is pleased with how receptive she is to parents and how she wants to create a cooperative atmosphere for pupils.

"She is a very positive person. She has a lot of great ideas," he said. "I think she is great."

In recent weeks, Mrs. Tasker has started creating a computer lab with 10 computers the school received. One of her goals, she says, is for every child to learn basic computer skills. She is on the prowl for more computers so that the lab can accommodate a full class, rather than having to split classes for computer time.

"My goal is to make a difference for children, to help children develop a vision for school and for life," she says.

As far back as she can remember, Mrs. Tasker wanted to be a teacher. She received bachelor's and master's degrees from Bowie State University but started practicing her classroom skills much earlier. She recalls gathering some of her 10 siblings to play school when growing up in Arnold.

She was one of the shy children in Patricia Brown's fourth-grade classroom at Parole Elementary.

"I liked the way she taught. She was so caring, and she gave all of us attention. She would let me carry her lunch. She would always encourage me," Mrs. Tasker says.

Ms. Brown, now a teacher at Tyler Heights Elementary School, said, "I remember her so well sitting in my classroom; she was so shy. I did go out of the way to let her know that teachers, in general, care. Because of her shyness, she was reluctant to share."

Ms. Brown, who has taught for 37 years, said she tried to make each student feel special, and is flattered that she is Mrs. Tasker's inspiration.

Mrs. Tasker went on to student-teach under Ms. Brown's guidance nearly a quarter-century ago.

"She put me to shame, she was so good," Ms. Brown said.

Mrs. Tasker was an elementary school teacher for about a decade, before becoming a math resource teacher, a Chapter I teacher, specialist and administrator, then assistant principal at Linthicum, Marley and Freetown elementary schools.

She lives in the Broadneck area with her husband, Thomas. Her son, Tory, is a senior at Broadneck High School and her daughter, Ava, is a Salisbury State University sophomore.

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