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Catonsville Principals Share Back-to-School News

Baltimore County Public School students return to school on Monday.

Summer is over and Baltimore County Public School students return on Monday. Patch reached out to area principals to get an update on what is going on at their schools. Here are there responses.

Principal welcome message/goals for the school year: 

Principal Linda Miller: "Our theme mirrors the superintendent’s theme of excellence.  Our theme is “Pursuit of Excellence”.  We looked at the most recent Olympic athletes and discussed how they continue their pursuit even though they may fail, have injuries or challenges or did not win a medal.  The second part of my message introduces our instructional focus for the year, which mirrors the new instructional pieces from the school system.

New teachers/staff at Catonsville Elementary: 

  • Lisa Beck, School Nurse
  • Amanda Cohen, Special Educator

Back-to-school events: 

  • Find Your Seat on August 23 5-7 p.m.
  • Back-to-School Night on Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m.


Other fall events: 

PTA fundraiser and Environmental Fair on September 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Greatest fund-raising/volunteer needs:  

Our fundraising has centered on using donations to purchase technology for staff and students.


New clubs or activities forming: 

Still in the works…

Anything else you want parents and students to know: 

We are excited for everyone’s return!  We are looking forward to all of the opportunities a new school year brings for students and staff.

Principal welcome message/goals for the school year: 

Principal Terry McVey: "Our theme for the year is Seasons of Change.  Our staff will be working this year on a transition to implementation of the Core Curriculum and will participate as a pilot school for the new teacher evaluation process. Many things are new and require us to shift away from previous practices."


New teachers/staff at Hillcrest Elementary: 

  • KG Rebecca Johnson, kindergarten
  • Katherine Lahey, first grade
  • Mary Beth Capka, second grade
  • Christine Price, fourth grade

Back-to-school events:

  • Open House is August 23 from 1-3 p.m. for grades 1-5
  • Our Back-to-School Night is September 4 at 7 p.m. 

Greatest fund-raising/volunteer needs: 

We have two intervention programs that rely heavily on volunteer support…Rocketing Readers and Number Crunchers.  Our PTA continues to focus on fund-raising through the Invest in Hillcrest Campaign.


New clubs or activities forming: 

Parents will soon receive information from our PTA regarding the Hillcrest Kids Club after school program

Anything else you want parents and students to know: We are happy to be back and look forward to a successful school year!

Principal welcome message/goals for the school year:

Principal Peggy DeCrispino: "Westchester welcomes our new superintendent, Dr. Dance, and his focus on Team BCPS striving for Deliberate Excellence.  Westchester is embracing this message and has a banner, poster, and staff shirts celebrating Team Westchester a subsidiary of Team BCPS. We also embrace the quote from Michelangelo that Superintendent Dance shared: “The greater danger is not that we set our goals too high and don’t achieve them, but that we set our goals too low and we do.”


New teachers/staff at Westchester Elementary:

  • Colleen Adam joins Westchester ES as the school's new library media specialist/Technology Integration Teacher. Adam was previously a teacher at Deep Creek Middle
  • Ron Pardoe joins Westchester ES as the school's new technology integration teacher/library media specialist. Adam was previously at Catonsville Elementary.
  • Jennifer Garancheski joins Westchester ES as the school's new part-time inclusion special eduacator/resource teacher. Garancheski formerly taught at Baltimore Highlands Elementary.

Back-to-school events:

  • Back-to-School Night on Sept. 11 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Other fall events:

  • PTA Sponsored Crazy Hat Day on Sept. 14
  • Grandparents' Breakfast on Nov. 16

Greatest fund-raising/volunteer needs:

  • Fund-raising need: technology fund
  • Volunteer needs: lunch room

New clubs or activities forming:

Student Fitness Program and Technology Club

Anything else you want parents and students to know:

Principal DeCrispino: We are looking forward to the students' return on Monday,  because Team Westchester is excited about another great school year.

Principal welcome message/goals for the school year:

Principal Jason Barnett: "Welcome to Woodbridge Elementary School!!  We are looking forward to an exciting school year in which we continue to engage our students and families in order to build upon our strengths as a school community.  Our vision is that students, teachers, parents, community leaders, and administrators will work together to provide rigorous instruction for our Woodbridge students in order to increase student achievement."


New teachers/staff at school:

  • Elliot Crouthamel – Physical Education
  • Melissa Huber- Physical Education
  • Jessica Gonzalez – Grade 4
  • Esti Pollock- Speech and Language Pathologist
  • Lindsay Bosley- Prekindergarten


Other fall events:

  • Math Night: Oct. 18
  • Reading Night: Nov. 15


Greatest fund-raising/volunteer needs:

We are always looking for volunteers to support our teachers and students in the classroom.  Parents are invited to contact their child’s classroom teacher for more information regarding volunteer opportunities at Woodbridge Elementary School.


New clubs or activities forming:

MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement)- MESA is a grade 3-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiative,  that works to identify and support students statewide in order to prepare them to matriculate and graduate from a two-year and/or four-year college or university with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.


Anything else you want parents and students to know:

Principal Barnett: Thank you to the families of the Woodbridge community for allowing us to work with best children in Baltimore County.  We are looking forward to an outstanding school year!

Principal welcome message/goals for the school year:
Principal Michael Thorne: "Welcome back to school! We are anticipating a fantastic school year, and we plan to continue to focus on our students’ successes. Every teacher has written a leadership goal for the coming year that will help them to maximize their strengths and increase student achievement, and very soon, every student will have the opportunity to write a leadership vision as well. Our goal continues to be to to prepare well-rounded, college and workplace ready students who will be the leaders of tomorrow.  After all, Catonsville Middle School is where good leaders become great leaders!"

New teachers/staff at Catonsville Middle:

  • Sarah K. Chame Martinez (assistant principal)
  • Kim Clark (science/social studies)
  • Deborah Manns (health room assistant)
  • Ollie Matson (physical education/health)
  • Maria Naranjo (Spanish)
  • Michelle Soumah (adapted learning support)
  • Luke Willis (art)

Back-to-school events:

  • Ice Cream Social for new students on August 23 from 3-5 p.m.
  • Back-to-School Night on Sept. 5 from 6:30-9 p.m.

Other fall events:

  • NorthBay Information Night (Date TBD—October 2012)
  • Fourth Annual Faculty Variety Show on Nov. 7
  • American Education Week  from Nov. 12 to Nov. 16

Greatest fund-raising/volunteer needs:

Volunteers are always welcome to help with clerical work. Please contact Jeanne Smith at vsmith@bcps.org.

We also need volunteers for some of our Green School/environmental projects. Contact Toni Wallace (twallace@bcps.org) for more information.

New clubs or activities forming:

  • Math Counts Club
  • Computer Club

Anything else you want parents and students to know:

Principal Thorne: “So . . . what’s the good news at CMS?” We constantly hear about changes in education these days, but one thing has remained the same. The staff at Catonsville Middle School continues to put children first. They are the basis of every decision we make. No matter what changes occur in education, our devotion to children will remain a constant.

New teachers/staff Catonsville High School: 

  • Patricia Meijer, special Education/FALS
  • Cristina Dalton, world language,
  • Christopher Gnagey, music,
  • Eric Sopp, mathematics
  • Wendy Porter, family and consumer sciences,
  • Dr. M. Alicia Bennett, school psychologist

Back-to-school events:

  • New Student and 9th Grade Student Orientation on August 27 at 7 p.m.
  • Back to School Night on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.

Greatest fund-raising/volunteer needs: For a complete list, visit the PTSA website or the Athletic Boosters website.

Sharon Stanton August 24, 2012 at 01:07 PM
how about Western School of Technology and Environmental Science? We are in the Catonsville area? Thanks
Jody Krug August 24, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Westowne Elementary has been an intelligent addition to Catonsville since the doors opened in 1952. Presently the school has approximately 535 students, 22 teachers and 6 special education teachers. Westowne Elementary scored higher than the state average in the MSAs for Reading performance levels. We enjoy an active and awesome PTA, a small town feel and a hands-on principal, Pat Vogel.
Penny Riordan August 24, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Thanks Jody. I never received a response from Principal Vogel in time for the article, or else I would have included it. If a response to the questions is emailed to me at penny.riordan@patch.com, I'd be more than happy to update the article. -Penny Riordan, editor
MarylandMama October 12, 2012 at 05:54 PM
I agree with Sharon Stanton, but I'm not sure whether Patch sent an inquiry to Western Tech or not. Bruce Goldfarb (current Catonsville Patch editor) was quite happy to post information about our four National Merit Commended Scholars yesterday (see http://catonsville.patch.com/articles/student-commended-by-national-merit-scholarship-program). Moving forward--Mr. Brian Schilpp, webmaster for Western Tech, is the person responsible for their press releases/school info. I would hope that Patch would include Mr. Schilpp in future requests for school news.

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