Ridgeview MS Principal Wins State Honor
Monifa McKnight, principal at Ridgeview Middle School since 2011, has won the Middle School Principal of the Year award, given by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
Scott Pfeifer, Executive Director of MASSP, was on hand to present McKnight with the award on Feb. 26 at the school. Pfeifer said that McKnight was chosen unanimously from a total of 12 candidates. Among the reasons she was selected, he cited her collaborative leadership style and strong student academic achievements
Dr. McKnight will be honored at MASSP’s annual conference on March 20.
Gaithersburg HS Assistant Principal Named Finalist for National AP of the Year
An MCPS assistant principal has been named one of three finalists for National Assistant Principal of the Year. The award is given to assistant principals by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) for their success in raising student achievement and leading a culture in which students thrive.
Dyan Harrison, assistant principal at Gaithersburg High School (GHS) for the last six years, witnessed shifts in demographics and a climate whose decline was accelerated by frequent principal turnover. But under the guidance of a supportive principal, Harrison worked with a team of staff and students to create the Signature Academies of GHS, a rigorous instructional program that enables all students to explore career paths. More than 400 students have earned academy honors since its inception. With Harrison’s leadership, Gaithersburg also established a protocol for staff to identify honors and Advanced Placement (AP) students, which resulted in a 20 percent increase in minority enrollment. To increase students’ chances for success in rigorous courses, Harrison led a collaborative effort to develop a summer enrichment program for first-time AP students. In August 2013, the school opened a $95.8 million state-of-the-art facility. Harrison led the technology modernization, which provided students with access to more than 1,000 computers, 129 touchscreen Promethean Boards, and 20 computer and mobile labs. She also worked to identify departmental technology allocation, managed the budget, and ensured that staff received proper technology training. She has been with Gaithersburg for 18 years.
Alix Doris is a joy to work with and helped me adjust into the culture of Lakelands Park Middle School. She is a great co-teacher, and often steps in to help me provide differential instructions to all my students.
Daphney Phillip, math teacher, Lakelands Park Middle School