New middle school principal says he'll put kids first


January 05, 2000|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NORTH CARROLL pupils won't walk through the doors of new Shiloh Middle School until August, but Principal George Thomas Hill is readying for the school's opening.

"Philosophy puts together a school," Hill explained. "A lot of us will very shortly be putting together our philosophy, which is `do what's best for kids,' and all our decisions are made on the basis of that philosophy.

"It's the driving factor for everyone in the building. I'm really excited to get the staff and everyone's input into working toward the same common goal in getting ready to do what's best for kids," he added.

His arrival at Shiloh is something of a homecoming. Hill is a native of Fowblesburg with fond childhood memories of eating cheeseburgers in Hampstead and ice cream in Snydersburg.

He lives in Silver Run with his wife, Beth, admissions director at Carroll Lutheran Village, and two children, son A. J., a sixth-grader at East Middle, and daughter Erin, a fourth-grader at Charles Carroll Elementary.

"I'm a very open, positive person, and I'm very goal-oriented and believe in getting the job done," Hill said.

He enjoys bicycling and participates in at least two century (100-mile) rides annually.

He's been assistant principal at Sykesville for six years. His new duties start this week, and he'll soon establish an office at North Carroll Middle.

The location of Shiloh Middle, off Shiloh Road next to Hampstead Elementary and North Carroll High schools, has created a sort of educational campus. Shiloh's design was based on Oklahoma Road Middle School in Eldersburg, but with changes determined by a local committee, which included parents.

"I'm very impressed with the committee that worked to make modifications to the building to make it even better as a design, such as shared rooms and common planning areas," Hill said. "Some walls are flexible, so we as a staff can utilize the building to meet the needs of instruction. The students will definitely benefit. When I did a walk-through, I was very impressed. It's going to be a beautiful building."

Three parents served on the committee: Diane Gehret, Susan Kron and Pat Slessinger. PTO President Pat Koch represents the community on the committee.

Construction is on schedule, and Hill intends to train pupils to give tours when the building is complete.

"To me Shiloh Middle is not a building. It is the students, staff, parents, and community working together," Hill said. "The main thing we need to focus and build upon is making it a learning community."

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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