Crowding forces Carroll school to add 3rd assistant principal

June 28, 1998|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

A third assistant principal has been assigned to Liberty High School in Eldersburg, where severe student crowding has pushed the limits of the school building and its work force.

Clifford D. Feldman, an assistant principal at North Carroll High School since November, joined the staff at Liberty High School last week, said William H. Hyde, new superintendent of county schools.

"We're giving Liberty another assistant principal now in anticipation that their enrollment levels will reach the point by the end of September to justify the appointment," said Hyde, who officially becomes superintendent Wednesday, the start of fiscal Student enrollment in September is projected to be more than 1,500; the school was built for 1,160.

"The feeling is that we'll be better-suited to get the new person there now to become familiar with the school and community," he said. "It eliminates the disruption that would occur if we waited until the end of September."

Feldman's move to Liberty is among other transfers and reassignments authorized by Hyde last week -- some of his first actions as superintendent.

He said Ron Laczkowski, an assistant principal at Westminster High for seven years, has been transferred to North Carroll High School in the same position. Gary E. Dunkleberger, assistant superintendent for instruction for four years, was appointed acting principal of North Carroll High School.

Hyde will recommend to the school board at its meeting next month that Dunkleberger be named principal.

Randy Clark, Liberty High principal, said that getting a third assistant principal will ease the workload of the school's administrative staff.

"I think it will greatly benefit our students," Clark said. "Over the last five years, the student population at Liberty has increased from 1,000 to 1,500."

School officials had estimated an enrollment of 1,509 students at Liberty in September, just over the 1,500 required for a third assistant principal. However, the most recent projections call for 1,530 students.

"We were in desperate need of more help," Clark said.

The growing pains at Liberty High are a result of booming residential growth in the South Carroll area, where the population -- now at 28,000 -- has increased by at least a third in the past decade.

With 12 portable classrooms last year, Liberty High was tied with West Middle School in Westminster for having the most portable classrooms in the county.

But portables aren't the only way Liberty has dealt with growing enrollment. In May 1997, the school adopted a one-way-only policy in the narrow hallways to make class changes smoother.

Clark said the flow of foot traffic at the school has improved, and students have been cooperative.

Before the one-way rule, students collided in the halls.

Pub Date: 6/28/98

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