PTA at Brooklyn Park Elementary loses battle over principal's transfer School system moves him to Deale Elementary; replacement is named


Despite parent protests, Brooklyn Park Elementary School will have a new principal in September: Donald Leuschner will replace Michael Trippett, who had been at the school for 11 years.

Trippett's transfer, as well as dozens of other reassignments, were announced during Wednesday's school board meeting in Annapolis.

The promotions, transfers and retirements are part of routine moves to accommodate school staffing needs. Trippett will be principal at Deale Elementary.

'Very disappointed'

"I guess we are just very disappointed in the process. The community came together, and we didn't get any satisfaction. It was like [the school board] didn't care what we thought," said John Murawski, vice president of Brooklyn Park Elementary's Parent-Teacher Association.

"That's a natural reaction, to be upset when you lose a principal you like," said David D. Lombardo, director of human resources for the school system. "But that does not mean that they won't like their new principal."

Last week, the PTA sent a letter home with each of the school's 480 students explaining the transfer and asking parents who oppose the move to sign the letters and return them. Those letters were sent to school board members along with a plea to save their principal.

"We never received any response from [Superintendent Carol S. Parham] or any member of her staff about the letters we sent to her," he said. "Two school board members called us, but that was all."

Wanted to give opinion

Murawski said he was upset because the board did not allow him to give his opinion about the transfer. Public participation is allowed only for items not listed on the agenda, and state law requires that personnel matters be discussed in private.

"But it would have been nice for them to acknowledge us during the meeting," said Murawski, who attended the meeting. "It seemed like they didn't care what we thought."

He said the PTA is looking forward to working with Leuschner, who is being transferred from Oakwood Elementary in Glen Burnie.

"We have heard good things about him, and I think he will be a good principal," Murawski said.

The parents credited Trippett with being a strong advocate of converting the old Brooklyn Park High School on Hammonds Lane into a middle school, with the Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts, a senior center and offices for county agencies in part of the building. That project is to be completed in 2000.

They said he helped improve standardized test scores, increased PTA membership and added fund-raising activities, such as dances and partnerships with local businesses.

Other appointments

Other elementary schools getting new principals were:

Rolling Knolls, Patricia Campbell; Overlook, Brenda Hurbanis; Davidsonville, Patricia Nalley; South Shore, Deborah Williams; Tyler Heights, Bernadette Wright; Oakwood, Wilbert Baltimore; Windsor Farm, Wayne Bark; Lothian, Elizabeth Kiefer; Jones, Alison Lee; and Richard Henry Lee, Max Muller.

Pub Date: 6/05/98

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