Schools to start year with new principals

NEIGHBORS

August 19, 1999|By Diane Mikulis | Diane Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NEW SHOES and clothes. New binders, notebooks and backpacks. New classrooms and locker combinations.

All these lovely, shiny things signal the start of the school year.

For some western Howard County schools, a new principal goes along with the rest.

Manor Woods Elementary, Lisbon Elementary and Mount View Middle schools will be under new leadership this year. All will be led by longtime Howard County educators.

Manor Woods Principal Jim Weisner has been in the Howard County public school system for 22 years. He began as a teacher at West Friendship Elementary and was assistant principal at Guilford and Clarksville elementary schools.

Most recently, he was principal at Phelps Luck for six years.

Weisner is looking forward to working with the staff and being in the classroom meeting the children.

"That's what I like best," he says.

He believes Manor Woods is an excellent school and wants to build on its strong academic program. He would like all of the children to have good experiences at school, he said, and to go home happy.

"The most important thing," Weisner said, "is to let kids know you care about them and to be a good listener. When you make decisions, always do what's best for the students."

He also believes that listening to parents and staff is very important.

Weisner grew up in Catonsville and went to Salisbury State College. He lived near Triadelphia Road for a while after graduating from college, so the Manor Woods area is familiar to him.

Jack Wineke, principal at Lisbon, also has early ties to the neighborhood around his new school.

He recalls that as a youngster in the 1950s, he rode the bus with his mother from Baltimore County to visit his aunt in Woodbine. They frequently shopped in Lisbon.

Wineke has since earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Towson State College (now Towson University) and a certificate of advanced study in education (similar to a second master's degree) from the Johns Hopkins University.

He began his teaching career in Baltimore County when he was hired by his former sixth-grade teacher, then principal at Johnnycake Elementary School.

After a few years, Wineke moved to Howard County, taking positions as assistant principal at Longfellow, Northfield and Running Brook elementaries. He was promoted to principal at Phelps Luck, then moved to Northfield and, most recently, to Atholton.

Wineke believes the secret to success in education is to look at each situation individually.

"Every student is unique, with specific needs you need to understand," he says. "You have to do the best for every student in the school."

He said his goals are to "develop a wonderful relationship with the kids, maintain high academic performance and become a part of the Lisbon community."

Eight years ago, James Evans was on the design committee for construction of Mount View Middle School. Last month, he started as principal of the school he helped design.

He's happy to see that the features he pushed for during the design phase have materialized: the outdoor lunch recess area just outside the cafeteria and a computer in the classroom for every teacher.

Evans has been an educator in Howard County for 29 1/2 years.

He started as a teacher at Clarksville Middle, then moved to Dunloggin Middle when it opened. He returned to Clarksville as assistant principal and later became the school's principal.

For seven years, he has been principal at Harper's Choice Middle.

Evans says he has been blessed by being in schools "that are fantastic."

He says his years of experience have taught him that kids can do anything if they know someone cares about them.

"Some of my biggest successes have been with kids who were headed the wrong way," he said. "That's the pay, seeing kids get turned around."

Evans' primary goal at Mount View is to make sure all pupils reach their academic potential.

He also plans to push for strengthening reading and writing skills in all subjects.

Evans is originally from Hagerstown. His college roommate, who was from Glenelg, suggested that he look into teaching in Howard County. Evans says he has never regretted following that advice.

Jazz ensemble returns

The 1998-1999 Glenelg High School Jazz Ensemble recently returned from its European tour and gave its final performance at the Howard County Fair last week.

The group performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Also on the itinerary was a stop in Germany.

"It was, if not the best, one of the best trips," said band director Barry Enzman. The band has made quite a few trips in its 25-year history at Glenelg.

"The kids held their own with the pros," Enzman said proudly. Glenelg was one of two high school bands worldwide invited to participate in the jazz festivals, he said.

"It was awesome," said Kelly Frey. "We had such great audiences."

Frey, 18, was the group's vocalist. She graduated in June and will attend East Carolina University in a few weeks.

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