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Edmondson Heights Elementary's new principal part of legacy

University of Central Florida

David Proudfoot comes from a family of principals.

His father, Roger Proudfoot, served as principal at Westowne Elementary, Riverview Elementary and Johnnycake Middle School, before it was known as Southwest Academy.

His grandmother also served as principal at Westowne Elementary. She was principal at Hebbville Elementary and Bedford Elementary as well.

His stepmother was also principal at Bedford Elementary and at Chadwick Elementary as well.

Now, it's his turn and he said he is looking forward to continuing his family's legacy in the area.

Proudfoot started his first job as a principal at Edmondson Heights Elementary on July 1.

"This is my first principalship," Proudfoot said. "I'm really excited about it, it's going to be a great year."

The school on Langford Road with an enrollment of more than 450 has a special significance for Proudfoot.

His mother was a student there and a member of its first fifth-grade graduating class.

Though this will be his first job as a principal, Proudfoot said this will be his 15th year working in education.

After graduating from University of Central Florida in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, Proudfoot spent fours years teaching and two as an assistant principal in Florida before returning to Baltimore County, where he had lived part-time with his father while growing up.

Since returning, Proudfoot served as an assistant principal at three county elementary schools, most recently at Dundalk Elementary

He admitted last week that he was a little nervous about the extra responsibility that comes with being a principal.

"I think, as a new principal, you're always worried (about) ... the stress and the pressure of being responsible for the entire school," he said. "You don't want to let any student or adult down."

But after a summer spent getting to know the staff and the community, he is ready to get to work.

"I've always enjoyed meeting people and working with people," Proudfoot said. "The majority of my experience has been in Title I schools and I really get a lot of excitement from working with that demographic."

Edmondson Heights meets the criteria of a Title I school in that it receives additional federal funding because of its high percentage of students from low income families. Baltimore County elementary schools qualify for those funds when 54.8 percent or more of students receive free and reduced meals.

"It really takes a team effort with our staff, our students and the parents to make sure we succeed," he said.

With teachers scheduled to return to school on Aug. 19 and students arriving for their first day of classes a week later on Aug. 26, Proudfoot said he is using three words to focus himself and his staff for the new year — equip, empower and engage.

"These are kind of my non-negotiables," he said. "I'm really excited about getting everyone back home, to school.

"We're going to work really hard to make it a place the students feel proud to be a part of, that the staff is proud to be a part of," the 35-year-old Ellicott City resident said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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