Annapolis High principal wins state award

Don Lilley turns around troubled school

April 14, 2010|By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun

An Anne Arundel County principal who turned around a troubled Annapolis school has been named the state's high school principal of the year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals.

Annapolis High School Principal Don Lilley said he got the call Friday night about the award and will receive it at a meeting in Ocean City this Friday.

"First of all, it is not about Don Lilley. I have a fantastic faculty and staff here. Without this group of leaders I have, it would never have happened," he said.

Lilley took over the school in 2004. In 2007, Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell interceded at the struggling school and required everyone in the building to reapply for their jobs. Lilley survived and implemented a series of measures that helped the school make progress.

During the past three years, the number of students who passed the Maryland School Assessment rose 34 percentage points in English and 19 points in math. The increases were even bigger among the school's African-American and Hispanic students.

Lilley said the school has many parent-volunteers and a supportive community that has helped in the turnaround. Staff members have mentored students, and the high school has held a summer school for rising ninth-graders and night school for students who needed to pick up credits.

Besides helping struggling students, Lilley said, the school has also instituted high-level classes for high-achieving students and encouraged more students to take those classes.

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