Hyattsville Elementary Principal Retires
County school official says decision on new principal to made by end of June.
Friday was not only the last day of school for thousands of students across the county, it was also the last day of school for Hyattsville Elementary School Principal Jeannie Washburn. Blowing bubbles amidst a gaggle of frenzied children after dismissal, Washburn concluded a 43-year career as a volunteer, teacher, advocate and administrator for Prince George's County Public Schools.
Washburn is taking advantage of a county retirement incentive program designed to encourage senior employees to retire in order to save money on the school system's payroll for the 2013 budget.
Washburn leaves the office with high praise from local parents, including Hyattsville Councilor Candace Hollingsworth, who also serves as the vice-president of the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA. The parents Hollingsworth represents in her capacity on the PTA now turn their attention to an impending decision on Washburn's replacement.
"I hope that whomever we have that replaces her comes with the same genuine character," said Hollingsworth.
Hollingsworth said that the PTA has done its best to make the priorities of the parents known to school administrators hiring for Washburn's vacancy.
"It wasn't necessarily that they asked us to be involved, but that we got involved," said Hollingsworth. She said that the PTA worked closely with county school administrators and were even party to a conference call with Superintendent Hite to discuss the selection.
Chris Mills, instructional director for 15 elementary schools in Prince George's County, said that a final decision on Hyattsville Elementary School's next principal will be made by the end of June.
According to Mills, candidates for all principal vacancies have gone through screenings. From that, they created leadership profiles for each candidate used to match principals with the needs of a particular school. The candidates will be presented before the school board at one of its next two meetings.
"The hope is that by the end of june, all principal vacancies will be filled," said Mills.
Mills noted that funding for a school Spanish language outreach specialist, a role currently filled by Cecilia Penante, had been restored through alternative funding sources.
Because of a reduction in the number of students receiving free or reduced lunches, the school had initially lost funding for Penante's position, plus four other positions in Hyattsville Elementary School's Reading Intervention Team, which helped disadvantaged students brush up on their reading skills with in-school tutors. The funding for the reading intervention team has not been restored.