2019-2020 School Year Off to a Great Start
The 2019-2020 school year got off to a great start on Tuesday, Sept. 3, as MCPS opened its doors to a record number of students. More than 164,000 students are attending the district’s 207 schools this year, an increase of 1,500 students from the 2018-2019 school year.
The district also welcomed 21 new principals (or new to their school) who were ready and excited to meet their new students and families. Some of these principals shared a fun or interesting fact about themselves with MCPS QuickNotes that they would like their school communities to know:
Laura Swerdzewski, Acting Principal, Beverly Farms Elementary School
Growing up in Westhampton Beach on the east end of Long Island, I am happiest with my toes in the sand and a book in my hand! I look forward to starting the school year with the excitement of new beginnings and the opportunity to work with the Beverly Farms community to continue our tradition of excellence for all students!
Greg Baron, DuFief Elementary School
Before beginning my education career in Maryland and with MCPS, I had the opportunity to serve students as an educator in three different states (California, Florida and Maryland) and two different countries (USA and England).
Robert Obstgarten, Greencastle Elementary School
Both MCPS educators, my wife and I are the proud parents of two amazing kids, a 7-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. I am honored to serve the Greencastle community as we help all of our students strive to become their best selves.
Stephanie Dinga, Goshen Elementary School
I began my college career as a dance major and performed in dance companies until I was 26.
Rosario Velasquez, Jackson Road Elementary School
I was born in Peru and moved to the United States when I was 8 years old. I am the very first educator in my family.
Jessica Palladino, Rolling Terrace Elementary School
My MCPS roots run deep! My grandfather and mother graduated from Blair High School and I graduated from Springbrook High School.
Gary Rand, Sligo Creek Elementary School
Montgomery County Public Schools provided me with some of my fondest memories and helped me develop as a student, athlete and leader. I am honored to have the chance to give back as the principal of Sligo Creek Elementary School.
Yolanda Allen, Snowden Farm Elementary School
I have taught at all three levels: elementary, middle and high school. I am a huge fan of drama series, such as Matlock and Law & Order.
Karin Wade, Travilah Elementary School
I enjoy traveling and exploring the world to learn about other cultures and history.
Daman Harris, Wheaton Woods Elementary School
As an elementary school student, I competed on a TV quiz show for kids called, ‘Heads Up!’ Now, I get to quiz my students, families and staff every day!
Aaron Shin, Parkland Middle School
I am an MCPS graduate and attended William Tyler Page ES, Briggs Chaney MS, and Paint Branch HS. I also worked at Parkland for nine years and I am happy to come back to this wonderful school community!
Matthew Niper, Acting Principal, Redland Middle School
I am excited to work with the AMAZING Redland MS Community! At Redland, we are dedicated to #BTheOne for ALL our students!
Christine Handy, Albert Einstein High School
I am returning from a one year leave of absence after being elected to serve as the President and Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Secondary School Principals. I am excited to start my 20th year as a high school principal.
Kevin Yates, Damascus High School
While in college, I rode a bicycle across the U.S. to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities. I love to spend time outdoors with my wife and our three children, ages 20, 19 and 16.
Mark Carothers, Poolesville High School
I have run 11 marathons and completed one half-Ironman and raised more than $30,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.