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Pot Spring Elementary ‘superhero,’ Dulaney mentor up for recognition

Jane Martin, principal at Pot Spring Elementary, with the school mascot, BB. Martin is one of six finalists for BCPS' Principal of the Year.
Jane Martin, principal at Pot Spring Elementary, with the school mascot, BB. Martin is one of six finalists for BCPS' Principal of the Year. (Courtesy Photo)

Now more than ever our school principals are “superheroes,” to borrow the word of Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams, who goes on to say that “each one deserves recognition.”

With that in mind, each year the BCPS system honors the Principal of the Year, and Jane Martin, principal of Pot Spring Elementary, is one of six finalists for this year.

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The honor will be bestowed, virtually, later this month, but Martin is certainly a favorite in our area. She is in her 12th year as principal at Pot Spring Elementary and has made an impact on hundreds of students and families.

Martin will do anything for her students, and over the years, she has kissed a goat, competed in Dino Races dressed in a T-Rex costume and dyed her hair blue, all as incentives to encourage students in the school’s annual Race for Education jog-a-thon.

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Martin is willing to dress up as book characters to visit classrooms and supports teaching outside the classroom walls, especially during the school’s annual Earth Day, Every Day program, which has resulted in meadows, blue bird trails and gardens all over the Pot Spring campus.

Last year, she welcomed back former students who were part of the 2019 Dulaney graduating class for one final visit complete with a “Clap Out” that had the entire school lining the halls to cheer for the graduates.

Martin is also a favorite with staff, teachers and parents in the community. Pot Spring Elementary is lucky to have her.

The Principal of the Year selection process begins with the community, members of which make the nominations; BCPS received 3,905 nominations this year. The Principal of the Year will be selected based on visionary leadership, student learning, community engagement and positive school environment.

According to Williams: “We are so fortunate to have these dedicated school leaders providing dynamic leadership in the communities they serve. Our students and staff have continuously turned to them for guidance, especially during these unexpected recent challenges."

Indeed, Martin is already a winner in the hearts of the Pot Spring community. Congratulations on the well-deserved honor!

Maria Hiaasen, English teacher at Dulaney High School, is receiving national recognition with the 2020 Northwestern University Distinguished Secondary School Teacher Award.

She is one of five high school teachers nationwide being recognized with the award, which is given for their professional and personal commitment to graduating Northwestern seniors.

These students nominate their exceptional high school teachers whose commitment to their academic and personal growth has left a lasting impression. Hiaasen will be recognized during Northwestern’s virtual commencement ceremony June 19 and will receive cash prizes for both herself and Dulaney High School.

Hiaasen was nominated by Sumin Woo, a 2016 Dulaney graduate, who had Hiaasen as both an English teacher and as her newspaper adviser.

Sumin, a self-described quiet 15-year-old who loved writing but didn’t know what to do with that interest, credits Hiaasen as the person who “cultivated my love of the English language, both as an art and a medium to share news.”

Sumin is now graduating from the journalism school at Northwestern and notes, “Mrs. Hiaasen pushed us as writers, but also as human beings, because she knew we could work harder, write better and create something we could truly be proud of. To me, Mrs. Hiaasen exemplifies persistence and the value of developing a strong work ethic.”

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I believe that all of Hiaasen’s students, both past and present, would agree with Sumin. Congratulations!

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