Some schools in Walkersville and around Frederick County will see a shake up of leadership over the summer. Frederick County Public Schools announced several principal and assistant principal appointments, effective July 1. According to a press release, personnel appointments remain subject to change based on the evolving needs of the school system.
Mr. Stephen Raff will take the reins at Glade Elementary School. Mr. Raff is transferring from director of School Administration and Instructional Leadership. He has also worked as principal at Centerville Elementary and Tuscarora Elementary, assistant principal at Centerville and Whittier Elementary, and taught at Oakdale Elementary and Twin Ridge Elementary. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in theater at Shepherd University in 1993 and master’s degree in teaching from Towson University in 1996, as well as the FCPS 2013 Distinguished Educational Leadership Award. Current Principal Lorcan OhEithir is transferring to Whittier Elementary.
Dr. Stephanie Ware will be Walkersville High School’s new principal. Dr. Ware is promoted from principal at Monocacy Middle. She has also worked as principal at Oakdale Middle, assistant principal at Brunswick High and Frederick High and taught at Middletown High and Urbana Middle. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and secondary education from McDaniel College in 2002, her Master of Education degree in educational leadership from Hood College in 2007 and her Doctorate of Education in administrative leadership for teaching and learning from Walden University in 2014. Current Principal Tracey Kibler is transferring to Governor Thomas Johnson High.
William Caulfield, transferring from Governor Thomas Johnson High, will join Dr. Ware as a new assistant principal at Walkersville High School.
Earlier this week, Walkersville High School Principal Tracey Kibler sent a note on her pending transfer.
A Message to Our Parents and Community
Dear Lion Community,
As many of you have now learned, the Board of Education announced my transfer. Effective July 1, 2020 I will begin to serve the Governor Thomas Johnson High School Community as their Principal.
As you can imagine I am not yet prepared nor ready to say parting words with this amazing community. So, for today I will be brief and sincere. Serving your children and leading Walkersville High School has truly been a blessing. My Blue and Gold loyalty is deep and my time spent with you has been rewarding beyond measure.
There is still so much work to do to close out this school year and I am committed to my last day to do all I can to ensure our seniors, underclassman and staff finish the year with the leadership they deserve. The pandemic has certainly made our lives in learning more challenging. For me it is unfortunate that my final days with your child have been from a distance. I miss their smiling faces and youthful energy. As I shared with each of them in a letter they received today through schoology, I would give every one of our students a high five, fist pump or hug if I was able.
We must now focus on finishing the year strong. Thank you for keeping your child engaged in learning and for supporting the work of our teachers. They have worked countless hours behind the scenes to provide continued learning opportunities. Encourage your child to persevere in their learning for these final weeks as it will only benefit them come the start of the new school year. As we head into the final weeks of school please be sure to read communication coming from WHS outlining guidelines for collecting of materials, final grading, distribution of personal property still remaining at school and extended summer enrichment opportunities. For our Seniors, much more is to be shared regarding graduation and final events. Shortly following this message, a FOF will be released about the distribution of caps & gowns and other graduation materials.
Dr. Stephanie Ware will be joining the Lion Pride as your new Principal. She brings experience and knowledge after serving for a number of years as Monocacy Middle School’s Principal. As we move closer to July 1st she will share her words of introduction with you. I thank you in advance for welcoming her with Blue and Gold Pride just as you welcomed me 7 years ago.
WHS will also be welcoming Mr. Bill Caulfield who is currently an Assistant Principal at Governor Thomas Johnson High School. I had the pleasure of working with Bill years ago and he is a class act who will work hard for our students.
Greg Keller and Cindy Zimmerman will remain as our other two Assistant Principals. My thanks to them cannot begin to be paraphrased in one sentence, so I will save my appreciation of their friendship and support for later.
In closing, life teaches us one constant; change is inevitable. This spring has certainly taught us that lesson on a magnified scale. Through change we learn to truly appreciate what was. Lion Community and Students (present and past), I APPRECIATE YOU!
Ms. KiblerWalkersville High School Principal Tracey Kibler
Members of the schools’ communities expressed dismay at the changes. One graduating senior from Walkersville High School was very upset stating, “that just is not fair. Ms. Kibler loves Walkersville High School. She is ‘Momma Lion.'”
A parent of a Walkersville High School freshman questioned the need to transfer now. “Why are they introducing change in the midst of everything else our kids are going through right now?”
Others noted that this change comes days after Ms. Kibler’s moving and emotional video of support for graduating seniors at Walkersville High School. “You can just see how much she loves her students at Walkersville High School,” a father of a graduating senior wrote.
The parent of a Glade Elementary School student said her child was very upset at the news of Mr. OhEithir. “Between not seeing friends and trying to do distance learning, this was a bit much for him,” she said.