New principal appointed for Liberty High School Clark takes helm at crowded building

September 11, 1997|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

Less than a month after its longtime principal left for another job, Liberty High School has a new one -- Randy J. Clark.

The Carroll County Board of Education approved Clark's promotion to principal at its regular board meeting last night.

The board also appointed Cynthia L. Taylor assistant principal at Runnymede Elementary School, and John Seibel as a temporary assistant principal at Northwest Middle School until a permanent choice is made.

Clark has been an assistant principal at three high schools in Carroll. Over the summer, he was transferred to North Carroll High from Francis Scott Key High, where he had been assistant principal since 1994. Earlier, he was an assistant principal at South Carroll High School for one year.

"He's served as an administrator now in three high schools, and that certainly gives a balance to his experience," said Gregory Eckles, director of secondary education. He said Clark was among 14 applicants, of whom six were interviewed.

"He also is strong in his ability to work with people and problem-solve. He's a very creative problem-solver," Eckles said.

The

most obvious challenge facing Clark at Liberty is dealing with over-enrollment that will only get worse until a planned new school opens -- at the earliest -- in 2001.

The school has already taken steps to accommodate the crowding, including the designation of one-way hallways and adjusting the number of students in each lunch period.

Although the school has portable classrooms, the student load that is expected to increase each year until the new school is ready has put stress on common areas, such as the cafeteria, media center and science laboratories.

Clark said he was not hesitant about the challenges at Liberty.

"Liberty is an outstanding high school," Clark said. "You look at the results they've been getting with attendance, functional tests, SATs.

"So even though there's a challenge with all the crowding, I feel very fortunate because it's already a great school," Clark said.

He is stepping into an office that only one other person has held -- Robert Bastress, who was principal from 1980 until he left in late August to become principal of Montgomery County's Damascus High School.

Before he became an assistant principal, Clark was a teacher at North Carroll High School from 1988 to 1993. He was a teacher in West Virginia from 1977 to 1988.

His promotion continues the domino effect caused by the retirement or resignation this summer of three secondary school principals, and the transfers and promotions of assistant principals.

Remaining vacancies include the assistant principal position at North Carroll and the position that Seibel is filling temporarily at Northwest, while continuing to teach social studies.

Pub Date: 9/11/97

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