The Washington Post

Prince George’s hires new principals and is in search of new teachers

As the new principal at Beltsville Academy, Leslie Lowe knew she was taking on a different role during a time of major transition in Prince George’s County schools. The teacher evaluation process has changed and there are new academic standards affecting classroom instruction.

On top of that, Lowe recently learned during a principals’ meeting with Kevin Maxwell, the school system’s chief executive officer, that children who are proficient in reading in the second grade are more likely to graduate within four years of high school.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead the school and excited about the challenges,” said Lowe, who began working at Beltsville 24 years ago as a teacher.

Lowe is one of 15 principals that have been hired in Prince George’s County this school year. More than half of those principals were hired over the past month.

Lowe, a former reading teacher and assistant principal who was hired Aug. 26, said she has already started discussing reading proficiency with her staff.

“That’s a challenge,” she said. “Not all of our students are proficient at the end of second grade. . . If we are doing that then we are helping education in the future.”

Doris Reed, who represents the principals’ union, said unfortunately it was not uncommon for the school system to start the school year with more than a dozen new principals.

Reed said there is always a lot of discussion about teacher retention. The same could be said about retaining qualified principals, she said.

“It’s a hell of a lot harder to get an experienced administrator than it is to get a teacher,” Reed said.

The other new principals are: Bernadette Ortiz-Brewster (acting resident principal) at College Park Academy; Theresa Moseley-Fax at Crossland High School; Torrie Walker at Fairmont Heights High School; Sharon Porter at Imagine Andrews Charter School; Lynnette Walker at Imagine Foundations Leeland Charter; Massa Washington at Lamont Elementary School; Tanya Washington (acting principal) at Parkdale High School; Shawna Fagbuyi at Allenwood Elementary School; Sheena Hardy at Cherokee Lane Elementary School; Jeffrey Holmes at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School; Anita Walls at J. Frank Dent Elementary School; Maisha Strong at Longfields Elementary School; Nasser Abi at Robert Goddard French Immersion School and Rashida Edwards at Rosaryville Elementary School.

Meanwhile, the district is still in need of teachers. The school system, which has 69 vacancies, recently held a recruitment fair seeking educators who could teach special education, math, early childhood, elementary, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Max Pugh, a spokesman for the school system, said the county routinely hosts events during the school year to “source, recruit and hire qualified teachers.”

As a result of the recent fair, which was attended by about 100 applicants, the school system has a pool of certified substitutes and a pool of teachers to fill positions as they become vacant, Pugh said.

Ovetta Wiggins covers Maryland state politics in Annapolis.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Border collies: A 'mouse trap' for geese on the National Mall
Play Videos
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
What you need to know about Planned Parenthood
Play Videos
How to save and spend money at college
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Europe's migrant crisis, explained

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.