Mount Airy Middle's principal states goals Ashmore wants to stress performance-based activities in classrooms

June 28, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

Mount Airy Middle School's new principal says she doesn't plan any immediate changes in the 700-student school, but she does have some long-term goals.

"As a school system, we need to work more and more toward short, performance-based activities in the classroom," said Virginia G. Ashmore, who was appointed to head the Mount Airy school after eight years as assistant principal at East Middle School in Westminster.

Maryland School Performance Assessment Program tests require eighth-graders to work together to find some of the answers to test questions. Ashmore said she would like to see more similar short, cooperative work activities in classrooms.

Ashmore said former principal Larry Barnes and others have told her that Mount Airy Middle "has a very active PTSO and that parents as a whole are extremely supportive of the school, and I can't be more pleased with that."

Superintendent Brian Lockard transferred Barnes to be principal of Oklahoma Road Middle School in Sykesville, which is scheduled to open in September.

Ashmore earned a bachelor's degree in 1968 from Towson State University and a master's degree in education at Loyola College in 1984.

She taught science in Baltimore County junior high schools until 1974. Ashmore took five years off for full-time motherhood, then taught science at Sykesville Middle School from 1979 to 1988.

The preteen and early teen years can be a difficult age, but Ashmore said she likes middle school students.

"When you first meet them and they act like they really don't care -- that blase attitude -- if you can get them to admit that they enjoy what they're doing, it's very rewarding," she said.

Ashmore, a Westminster resident, is a member of the church choir and a song leader at St. John's Roman Catholic Church. She enjoys step aerobics as a stress reliever.

Ashmore is a single parent. Her son Darby, 22, is a student at Carroll Community College. Her daughter Laura, 19, is a student at Villanova University.

Pub Date: 6/28/96

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