New Arundel principal off to a running start Marathon hobby helps mold discipline, he says

August 20, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

After running 38 marathons in 10 years, William T. Myers knows how to set goals and pace himself to achieve them.

Those skills should serve Myers well as he starts the school year as the new principal of Arundel Senior High School. The Gambrills resident was promoted from assistant principal at Meade Senior High School in June to replace Midgie Sledge.

Except for a one-week break in July in the mountains in Harrisonburg, Va., Myers has spent his summer days getting the Gambrills school ready for the 90 teachers who will return today and the 2,055 students expected to start on Monday and Tuesday.

"It's OK. I like it," he said of the packed summer schedule that finds him at the school most days by 6 a.m.

His days filled with school administration, Myers sticks to a running schedule of six and four miles on alternate evenings.

"My goal this year is to do the JFK 50-miler," he said last week, sitting at his desk in an office with a still-barren appearance. The ultra-marathon will be held in November along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.

Along with photos of his wife, son, 17, and daughter, 15, Myers displays shots of himself crossing the finish line in various races.

"It's really a great relief valve," he said of running.

The 47-year-old graduate of Northeast High School in Pasadena used to jog once every four days.

At the urging of a colleague at Old Mill Senior High, Myers ran his first marathon -- the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington -- in 1986.

He ran another marathon that year and has run 36 since.

"Sometimes you have great ones and sometimes you have not-so-great ones," he said of the 26-mile marathons he has run. "I think it's all in the approach, how you train for it."

And Myers can apply that principle and others from running to education.

"If you are a serious runner, you are a disciplined person," he said. "All teachers are basically disciplined people. They have to be to be able to plan and organize their time. We say there is never enough time to get everything done, but somehow we do planning ahead, having a purpose, setting goals -- they all interrelate."

Myers has worked 25 years in Anne Arundel schools. He taught social studies at what then was MacArthur Junior High School from 1971 to 1979, when he was promoted to administrative intern and went to Annapolis High School.

In 1984 he was transferred to Old Mill Senior High, where he became an assistant principal. In 1989 he went to his alma mater, Northeast, for three years. And from 1992 through June of this year, he was assistant principal at Meade Senior High.

"It provides you with a lot of insight to a many-faceted student population," he said. "It gives you the experience of dealing with a multicultural population. It certainly makes you familiar with the many different problems" students face.

At Meade he most recently coordinated scheduling, special education and the Adopt-A-School Program, a partnership with National Security Agency employees who helped teach specialized material in areas such as science.

Myers eventually would like to bring a similar professional partnership with an area business to Arundel.

But first he must find ways to handle a growing student population.

"I think everyone recognizes the Route 3 corridor is growing by leaps and bounds, and this year we are comfortably crowded," he said. "We're managing the influx of students. Next year is going to be a challenge."

Myers is looking into alternative schedules that will help use classrooms more efficiently, and, he said, the school will probably need more than its present two portable classrooms next year.

Pub Date: 8/20/96

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