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Hyattsville Elem. PTA Wants Voice in Principal Hire

Parent Teacher Association urges community to take active role in hiring of new Hyattsville Elementary School principal.

The leaders of the Parent Teacher Association are urging community members to let the county school system know what type of principal they want to replace Jeanne Washburn, the school's principal since 2007. 

She's taking advantage of a retirement incentive offered by the county school system designed to save money on payroll by encouraging senior employees to retire. 

"Ms. Washburn is an extremely hardworking, generous, devoted, and caring principal and person," wrote Hyattsville Elementary PTA President Bart Lawrence in an email. "Though she will be greatly missed by staff, students, and parents, this moment of change is also a great opportunity for the school and the community."

The Hyattsville Elementary School PTA learned of Wasburn's retirement last week. 

Lawrence encouraged residents to use an online survey conducted by the county school system which asks respondents to rank 14 characteristics of effective school leaders. 

Washburn said that the survey is administered every year, but this year its results will be more important because of her looming vacancy. 

The deadline is also looming for the survey, which closes at the end of today, March 19. 

The survey is offered in English and Spanish

Comments can also be emailed to school system officials at hr.humancapitaldept@pgcps.org

Lawrence also distributed a nine point list of qualities which the PTA might want to see in the next principal of Hyattsville Elementary School. Lawrence described the list as the "PTA's first cut at formulating a position on the matter."

The list is below: 

  • Our Principal's priority must always be the academic and developmental well-being of all Hyattsville Elementary students.
  • Our Principal must have the ability to attract, nurture, and retain a dedicated, creative, and effective staff.
  • Our Principal must hold Hyattsville Elementary staff accountable for fulfilling their professional responsibilities.
  • Our Principal must have a vision for how to work with a strong and growing PTA to increase parent involvement.
  • Our Principal must have a plan for improving student behavior, while creating a climate of respect.
  • Our Principal must have a plan for addressing the academic needs of all our special needs groups.
  • Our Principal must appreciate and champion the diversity of our school's population, while overcoming the accompanying challenges.
  • Our Principal must understand that Hyattsville Elementary is an integral part of the Hyattsville community.
  • Our Principal must have the ability to lead while working with community members, parents, and staff to build the reputation of Hyattsville Elementary and make it a model public school for the county and the entire state.

"The Hyattsville Elementary School PTA wants to play an active role in the process of hiring our school's next principal," wrote Lawrence. "PGCPS has a great opportunity in Hyatsville Elementary to create a sensational success story."

Michael Theis March 19, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Since the PTA has gotten the ball rolling, I'd like to help push it along. What qualities do you think the next Hyattsville Elementary School principal should possess? What challenges will Washburn's successor face?
Bea June 18, 2012 at 04:53 PM
He/ She should have an understanding spirit and acknowledge the diversity of the school and the neighborhood that surrounds it. Also,pay attention to the needs of the staff as I am sure they are plenty. The students will benefit from having a full staff that hears their concerns and does there best to do something about them .. our kids have so many issues, and on the other hand, so many of them are so smart. If a student is recognized for their achievements, that will encourgaed them to contiue to excell. What I see too often is instead of the child being recognized, they are having to sit on the sidelines and wait while the teachers , and admins deal with trouble makers, or other issues. If a child is reading and doing math at a 3rd grade level, then put them in 3rd grade instead of having the child waist brain time sittting through 2nd grade drawing pictures.So, in short, one that will pay attention and act on what they hear and see.

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