ELKTON — At the close of every school year, Cecil County Public Schools staff realize that some change at the school administration level is inevitable.
According to Carolyn Teigland, associate superintendent of education services, the priority behind the moves is both to fill any vacancies left open by retirements and to make sure that each school in the county is provided with staff that works well together, so they can contribute to the continued growth and development of the school and its students.
“Each school is unique,” Teigland said. “We look for administrators who can support each school’s unique needs.”
Teigland and the other staff members who make the moves look at each administrator’s skills and his or her past history in the school system to see where they would best fit in.
“They have to mesh well with the existing staff and support the work that has already been done [at their new school],” she said.
Joshua Mangold, the current assistant principal at Conowingo Elementary School, is among those being redistributed next year, assuming his first principalship at Kenmore Elementary School. He said Thursday that the promotion has him busy preparing for the move.
“My first goal is to really get involved in the instruction of the students and getting to know the community,” Mangold said. “Seeing what they value and what their traditions are.”
According to him, Conowingo and Kenmore are very similar schools, both in size and the high amount of community involvement. As Teigland mentioned, Mangold’s priority is to help Kenmore continue to improve as a school.
“I want to get to know the work they’ve been doing and what I can do to support that,” he said.
To help familiarize himself with the school and community, Mangold is meeting with retiring longtime principal Cynthia Moomaw, who he will be taking over for this fall.
Another administrator who is making a move is Berkeley Orr, who is just finished his third year as principal of Cherry Hill Middle School on Friday. Orr will not be moving to another principalship, but rather to become a pupil personnel worker at the central office.
“I pursued the change,” he said. “Because I have an interest in student services, and because [in this position] I will be working with at-risk students.”
Orr has lived in Cecil County his entire life, attending Elkton High School, and has been a teacher and then a school administrator for nearly 30 years. Throughout that time, Orr said that he has continuously seen at-risk students in need and has always felt compelled to help them.
Moving from school administration to directly working with students is a big change, but Orr feels that he is well-prepared from his tenure as a teacher and principal. Replacing him at Cherry Hill Middle will be Al Volpe, principal at North East Middle School, who has worked with Orr before.
Having undergone several swaps even before this one, Orr feels that the changes are beneficial to all the schools.
“Everyone has strengths but everyone also has weaknesses,” Orr said. “[By moving administrators around], we make sure that one area doesn’t always have the same strengths and the same weaknesses.”
Six other county schools will have new principals starting next year, including Calvert Elementary, where Chesapeake City Elementary Principal Elsie Harigan will take over; Chesapeake City Elementary, where Leeds Elementary Alan Loman will take over; North East Elementary, where Perryville Elementary Principal Lisa Lowe will take over; Leeds Elementary, where North East Elementary Principal Nikole MacDowell will take over; Cecil Manor Elementary, where Calvert Elementary Principal Tony Petinga will take over; and North East Middle, where Cecil Manor Elementary Principal Denise Sopa will take over.
Other administration changes announced last week include: Perryville Elementary Assistant Principal Karen Adair moving to Conowingo Elementary, Calvert Elementary Assistant Principal Travis Benner moving to Rising Sun Middle, Gilpin Manor Elementary Assistant Principal Kimberly Eller moving to Charlestown Elementary, Bohemia Manor High Assistant Principal Edmund Fontana moving to Elkton High, Rising Sun Middle Assistant Principal David Hastings moving to Bay View Elementary, and Bay View Elementary Assistant Principal Shawn Johnson moving to North East Middle.
Bohemia Manor High math teacher Brian DeMayo was promoted to an assistant principal position at his school, while Jessica Kubek, a central office instructional coach, will take on an assistant principal position at Calvert Elementary. Kecia Nesmith, a teacher from Toughkenamon, Pa., will become an assistant principal at Gilpin Manor Elementary.