Glen Haven Principal Is MCPS Nominee for Washington Post Award
Dr. Jane Ennis, principal at Glen Haven Elementary School since 2014, is the MCPS nominee for The Washington Post Principal of the Year award.
An educator who has always put children first, Ennis fosters a culture of high academic achievement for all students. Those who have worked with her call her a highly effective, dynamic leader and an out-of-the-box thinker who works tirelessly to move her students and her staff forward.
She works to continuously build her knowledge, as well as the capacity of her 85-member staff, implementing research-based strategies and providing hands-on trainings. She demonstrates and encourages creativity and innovation. Her forward-thinking approach has elicited powerful change. Through book studies, Ennis trained staff to create Google and Prezi presentations, and to edit and embed videos. Through the use of Gmail and Google Drive, Ennis has established a structure for collaborative learning, where lesson plans, agendas and meeting notes are accessible. This has impacted student learning and instruction. She has also trained staff to use previous PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) data to adjust instruction to match students’ needs. A student work peer evaluation process—with student-created, standards-based rubrics)—has been developed under her guidance. Due to her belief in enrichment for all, all students are provided enrichment opportunities and many students receive small group instruction from two or three teachers each day. She also hosts workshops for parents and community members to provide strategies and information on closing the opportunity gap.
These changes have had an effect on assessment data. Third, fourth and fifth graders outperformed Maryland requirements in the PARCC tests in reading and math. The percentage of students who passed the mClass reading assessment in kindergarten through second grade increased from 2016 to 2017. On average, 76 percent of all African American students in Grades 3–5 scored a 3 or higher on the PARCC literacy test, and 74 percent scored a 3 or higher on the math test.
She has an open-door policy for staff, students, parents and the community. When Ennis came to Glen Haven four years ago, the PTA had about five members. Today, membership has grown to about 200 members. She builds partnerships with the community, and regularly posts on social media, fostering relationships through Twitter and Class Dojo. Glen Haven’s partnerships include local churches, Walter Reed Army Medical Institute of Research, Educational Systems Federal Credit Union and Fort Detrick Army Base, who support the school through book donations, instructional resources, food and technology. Ennis works to ensure that the needs of her families are met; the school has a food pantry, clothing closet and coat drive. She is also dedicated to student discourse; her Principal’s Advisory Board consists of 21 students, who meet with her quarterly to share ideas on improving the school.
She is an active participant in continuous learning and participates in a cohort with colleagues to learn about things from different perspectives and experiences. She has also implemented book studies for her staff. Since 2014, her staff has participated in eight book studies; currently, they are reading Good to Great and Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain.
In 1991, Ennis began her career in education in the Philippines, and she has taught in Georgia, Nebraska and Maryland.
The Washington Post Principal of the Year Award seeks to recognize those principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment. Winners are expected to be announced in mid-April.