April 2018 Print

National Principals Conference 2018


Chicago is a great city.  And NASSP has lots of great programming in store for all the secondary school administrators who attend.  Back when the conference took place in February, Chicago just was not an option.  Now it is a great choice.


In addition to all the great NASSP activities, we in Maryland can celebrate the fact that our own Christine Handy from Gaithersburg High School is the NASSP president.  We certainly need to cheer her on.  AND....thanks to sponsorship from Jeff Segall at Lifetouch, we once again will have a state dinner in Christine's honor at a local TAPAS restaurant not far from the convention center on opening night, just after the Exhibit Hall reception.   


It will be a great time of networking and celebration and a great time for all.  We hope you will register and join us in July


Bring Your Team to NPC18

At the 2018 National Principals Conference, you will hear more than just theory—you’ll get the detailed insight you need to enact real change in your school. With its emphasis on professional growth and collaboration, this is an optimal event for a school leadership team to attend together. As a team, use this powerful experience to learn together and develop synchronized plans for school improvement and engagement. This July 11–13, walk away with real-world solutions to revolutionize your school. Visit www.principalsconference.org to learn more.



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Christine Handy Collins assumes the NASSP presidency in Chicago

There has only been one other person of color to assume the role of president of MASSP in over 100 years before Christine Handy, and THAT person was Cecil Short, also from Maryland.  We truly walk the walk in Maryland when we say we value diversity.


Christine has worked hard to make it to this point and I know she will be a wonderful president.  We wish her the best.  Come celebrate her ascendence to this position in Chicago in July and have fun at our state dinner.  

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Meet our new Principals of the Year

Cindy Dillon, MASSP Middle School Principal of the Year

Cynthia Dillon has been an educator with the Howard County Public School System for twenty-five years; working as a school-based administrator for seventeen of those years. Mrs. Dillon holds a Master of Education in Supervision and Administration from Loyola University in Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. During her career she has served in a variety of school settings, and is currently the proud principal of Patapsco Middle School.

During her career, Mrs. Dillon has served as: a Principal Leader working on the development of a program to promote National Board Certification for Principals; a mentor to new and aspiring educational leaders; an executive board member for the Howard County Administrators Association; and a member of the Superintendents School Safety and Advisory Cabinet, to name a few of her professional engagements. Cindy is a collaborative leader who believes in cultivating an environment where both students and staff grow and learn together.  When decisions need to be made, she insists the identified course of action will be, first and foremost, in the best interest of the students.

Mrs. Dillon is a resident of Howard County, where she lives in Ellicott City with her husband. She has three children who are graduates of the Howard County Public School System.


Mildred Charley-Greene, MASSP High School Principal of the Year

Throughout her 20 years as an educator, Mildred Charley-Greene  has demonstrated her belief in the power of being a "warm demander." As a Montgomery County elementary and middle school teacher, literacy coach, assistant principal and middle and high school principal, she has insisted on the ability of each individual to grow as learners and leaders. In 2013 she was appointed as principal of Northwood High School in Silver Spring. There she has championed inclusiveness, elevating the input of students, staff and families; working tenaciously to promote the excellence in everyone.  Students and staff embrace two mottos: #bettertogether and #believe. All students take part in culminating capstone projects that meet a school need. Staff work in professional learning communities to discuss methods of best meeting student needs. Parents and community members are present and welcome in the school, most recently building a dugout for the school baseball team and providing career shadow experiences for students.


By adopting a pedagogy and culture of insistence, Ms. Charley-Greene celebrates individual contributions to the school community. As a result, the school is busy six days week. Adult learning occurs in the evenings, Saturday school on the weekends and, through a partnership with a Wellness Center, families receive the medical, emotional and financial support they need to focus on learning. As the work continues, Ms. Charley-Greene remains committed to new and innovative ways to inspire all learners to discover the leader within themselves.

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Executive Director Report

First things first: Being Exec of MASSP is a dream job for me.  I have benefitted from this organization for more than 30 years and love being able to give back to administrators around the state.  But this year has been a mixed bag of sorts.  Thanks to past president and principal of the year Tom Evans, we continue to experience great success with our Aspiring Leaders Workshop.  MASSP provides a great service to school districts around the state with this program which receives rave reviews from participants.  

We also held a very successful spring conference.  Attendance was down just a tad from last year, but given funding dilemmas created by cuts in Title II funding, I was thrilled with the attendance.  And the program received great evaluations.  Keynoter Rick Wormeli is a super speaker.  Our AP conference was also a success in terms of programming, though attendance continued to lag from previous years.

Finally, we collaborated with MSDE on a variety of initiatives and maintained close ties with our parent orgranization, NASSP.  Principal of the Year and AP of the year programs were very successful, attracting many applicants.

Leading the "down side" was membership decline!  I wish I knew how to prevent this.  I know funding issues in districts where potential members rely on school funds to join play a part, but what else explains this?  I know for sure that personal invitations by existing members go a long way in promoting membership, so any help is appreciated.

We had to cancel several workshops as well, much to my disappointment.  Clearly teachers and administrators leave their buildings with GREAT difficulty.  We will certainly keep plugging away as I am convinced that valuable programming produces results.

With all the ups and downs, we were able to creatively budget to avoid any significant program cuts and we hope that continues.  I remain proud that we have been able to increase the budget by 80% since my arrival even factoring in this year's cuts. 

Finally, the budget picture gains added importance in that I am committed to leaving the organization is a strong fiscal position as I leave June 30, 2019.  Might you be interested in considering this great part time job?  The salary supplemented by a state pension (new system) comes close to matching the salary a principal makes in Maryland.  There is a lot of work to do, but it is clearly not full time and working from home is a big plus.  Contact me if you want more information.  We will begin formal advertisements in September, 2018.

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Greetings from President Elect

A little about me, I have been a school administrator for twelve years, five as a high school principal and seven as an assistant principal. Before coming to Maryland, I was a business education teacher for 10 years in Northern New York. I truly enjoyed my time in the classroom but there is nothing more rewarding than shaking the hands of my students as they walk across the stage with their high school diploma in hand.

As for my experience with MASSP, when I was an assistant principal I was a member of MASSP for five years but did not take advantage of what the association had to offer. When I moved into my principal role I also changed counties but did not carry my membership with me. It was not until I decided to attend the MASSP annual conference in 2015 did I realize how much this organization has to offer. I quickly became a member of the executive board where I learned exactly how much MASSP does for Maryland’s secondary school administrators.  I wanted to bring this resource to my county because I knew membership was extremely low. I began recruiting and built our membership and now we have 21 members. This organization keeps us up to date on what is occurring at the State Board, as well our members bringing us different perspectives and ideas that help us all become stronger leaders for our students.


But more importantly, we all know the role of a secondary school principal is one of the most difficult jobs in the school system. We wear many hats to match the different challenges of running a school.  As president-elect, it is my role to be a voice advocating for the many challenges we face every day. As secondary principals, we stand for educational excellence and our voices must be heard. We work to provide our teachers with research-based strategies that have proven to move our students toward the skills necessary to be successful in a twenty-first-century global society. What we do matters, children do not get to choose their environment, but we can teach them to be critical thinkers thereby giving them a choice in their future.

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Are you Retiring this year?

If you retire, we can ensure you get your remaining journals and on line communications till your membership expires.  And we recommend a retired membership (only $90) for at least a year so that, if any legal/liability issues arise from the past, you will STILL be covered by all of your legal and liability benefits.


And consider becoming an MASSP membership ambassador in your district.  I have paid over $1200 over the past two years to one retired member who has taken us up on this initiative.  Contact Scott Pfeifer if you want more info.

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Calendar of Events

National Principals Conference in Chicago, July 11 - 13, 2018

MASSP Assistant Principals Conference in Laurel, October 15, 2018

MASSP Annual Spring Conference in Cambridge, March 28 - 30, 2019 

Our spring conference features Jay McTighe as our featured speaker

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Ass't Principal Highlights

Our APs know that you are the backbone of any effective school administrative team.  Enhance your knowledge and skill and "give back" to the profession by becoming an AP at Large on our Executive Board.  We currently have several active participants who find it to be a valuable experience.  If interested, contact Exec Scott Pfeifer.   Here is what it entails:


1) Attend the four executive board meetings held on Saturday mornings (dates will be determined this June)

2) Register for and attend the AP conference and the Spring Conference. 

3) Serve on the AP conference planning committee which includes serving as a judge for the AP of the Year competition (you receive discounted registration for the conference)



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Earn a cash reward for member recruitment!

We have offered this incentive for many years and actually, no one has ever cashed in!  So bookmark your calendar, and as things wind down in June, make some calls and recruit.  We will provide you $35 dollars for every new member you recuit!!!!!

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Legislation update

There was not a lot of controversy in Annapolis this session.  Two pieces of legislation important to educators passed.  First, there will now be a referendum this fall asking voters to place all casino revenues in a lock box that directs all of those funds to the education budget.  Of course, we all thought those revenues ALREADY went to education, but clearly not.  What is very important about this idea is that the funds that it will direct to schools can be used to fund whatever recommendations are approved from the Kirwan commission, which will report out next year!


The other important legislation relates to school safety, flowing from the Parkland tragedy.  Highlights include:

* Mandatory active shooter drills in schools

* Increased funding to place school resource officers in more schools

* Increased funding to address mental health issues in schools


There is much more in this comprehensive legislation, but these represent the highlights of import to school based folks.



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MASSP seeks new Executive Director July, 2019

If you plan to retire this year or next but still want to work in the education field in a rewarding job (but not a job as stressful as being a school administrator), then contact MASSP Exec Scott Pfeifer about this future vacancy.  He will be glad to fill you in regarding all the job entails.  The Exec Board will issue a formal announcement of the job vacancy seeking applications in September.  

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Many thanks to our major sponsor, AXA

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2018 Spring Conference was a great success!

The spring conference was a great success



 Carroll County is always well represented      John Lang From CEASOM presents 
                                                                  Julie Janowich her president's plaque


 Chas Hagan and Scott Pfeifer enjoy           Major sponsor Mark Mazak from 
the opening receptions                              Edmentum staffs his exhibit table


 Long time sponsor Jeff Segall presents      Candi Skinker sells some of her 
his door prize of two Oriole's tickets           popular poster printers


 A full breakfast was a new touch           Conference Co-Chair Shannon Zepp was
 and it was GOOD                                 also a presenter with her principal Eric King

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Surprising our Principals of the Year is a fun activity

Thanks to assistant principals and secretaries, we somehow are able to "surprise" our winners each year.  Sometimes it is with students, and sometimes with staff, and sometimes both, it is always fun



Mildred thought she was reviewing the school safety plan with her staff in light of the Florida school shooting until the drum line, from behind the curtain, let her know something was different?




Cindy's whole school snuck into the gym without her hearing a sound!  And she walked into a big surprise.

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McGraw Hill Education has been an MASSP partner for many years

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Graduation task force begins work

We have two great representatives from MASSP working on this task force--Marc Cohen and Ken Goncz.  Join them and Ass't state sup't Carol Williamson at our May 12 exec board.


Work is still in progress and still very much in the fact finding stage.  So input from school based administrators is critical at this point.  Depending on recommendations, we may need to get very active as an organization to prevent having many of our students "thrown under the bus."


As Exec, I am very worried we will abandon a single diploma in Maryland, reserving the 'top' diploma for those able to do well on standardized tests.  And if this happens, I am fearful that less attention will be given to those students needing that attention most--ELL, students with disabilities, and minority students.  


Stay tuned, and make time to make your voice heard by joining us on May 12

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Join a new committee we are forming at MASSP--The technology committee

Look for information in the fall in your inbox about a new MASSP committee on Technology.  Ryan Novitski has presented several concurrent sessions at previous conferences that were well received on various topics related to technology integration.  Ryan has agreed to head a committee on this topic.


We can certainly serve members' needs in this area to a much greater extent than we do now.  For sure we need to increase our use of webinars and other tech tools that allow participation without leaving the schoolhouse.  


Ryan has some great ideas to jump start this initiative, but what is really needed is input from many members who want to share expertise.  


We hope to kick this initiative off in the fall, so stay tuned.

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Edmentum is a great partner for MASSP

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