27 new principals named at Baltimore County schools

May 26, 2004|By Sara Neufeld | Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

In moves affecting nearly all of its schools, the Baltimore County school board appointed new principals for 27 schools and assistant principals at more than 40 at a meeting last night.

This was the second consecutive year that Superintendent Joe A. Hairston has made significant changes in the leadership of the system's 163 schools. But some of the decisions were not of his making.

The General Assembly did not renew Maryland's program to rehire retired principals and teachers at struggling schools because lawmakers could not decide how to address concerns about misuse. The program, which allows retired employees to collect both salary and pension, expires June 30.

Getting new principals as a result are Kenwood, Loch Raven and Patapsco high schools; Loch Raven, Sudbrook Magnet and Woodlawn middle schools; and Grange, Martin Boulevard, Wellwood International and Winand elementary schools.

In another move, C. Anthony Thompson, principal of Woodlawn High School, was reassigned to Meadowood Education Center, a school for children with disabilities. Woodlawn has traditionally been one of the district's toughest assignments, and this year was no exception. In April, a melee erupted during an assembly for ninth-graders on anger management.

The Minority Achievement Advisory Group, which counsels the superintendent, has expressed grave concerns about low student performance at Woodlawn High, which is more than 90 percent black, and recommended new leadership. Thompson said yesterday that he thought he had addressed most of the group's concerns at a meeting this year.

Replacing Thompson will be Michael T. Lyons, who is moving from the predominantly minority Alum Rock Elementary School District in San Jose, Calif.

Maralee S. Clark, an assistant principal at Owings Mills Elementary School, was named principal of the New Woodholme Elementary School.

Other schools getting new principals include: Villa Cresta, Hernwood, Colgate, Scotts Branch, Joppa View, Pleasant Plains, Relay, Gunpowder, Franklin, Norwood and Sandy Plains elementary schools, and Golden Ring and Sparrows Point middle schools.

Also last night, members of the area's Muslim community asked the school board to close school on its two most religious holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The board is to vote on the 2005-2006 school calendar at its next meeting. The calendar for the next school year is already set.

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