THIS WEEK, Linda Wise feels that good fortune has smiled on her.
She has assumed her duties as the new principal at Glenelg High School. Wise has been the school's assistant principal for the past four years, and she feels confident about the future.
"Because I have been here, I know what needs to be done," she said.
Wise and retiring Principal Bonnie Daniel have worked together to create a smooth transition for the 1998-1999 school year.
Wise began her career in education in 1972 in Montgomery County, where she worked first as an English teacher. She next was a guidance counselor and eventually assistant principal.
When her son, Jason, was born in 1983, Wise decided to stay at home and be a full-time parent.
"Those years at home with my son made me a better administrator," she says. "Being a parent, I really relate to other parents and their concerns."
She believes that parents have entrusted the school and the staff with their most precious asset -- their child.
And she takes that trust very seriously.
"Above all, I believe it is important to treat kids with respect and dignity," she said.
Before becoming assistant principal at Glenelg, Wise worked as a guidance counselor at Howard High School for five years.
Wise calls Glenelg High School "a gem."
First of all, she says, the school has a great student population. "The students at Glenelg High School are a nice group of kids and we have a talented staff of teachers," she said.
"All the requirements are here for academic success," she added, noting that the parents and community are very supportive of their children and the school.
Built in 1957, the school has maintained a traditional role as the center of community life. High-quality drama productions, award-winning band concerts and fine arts exhibitions are offered there.
The stadium is filled in the fall for football games, and the Boosters Club fund-raising French fry stand has drawn crowds at the Howard County Fair for many years.
"These traditions should be valued and maintained," Wise said.
She intends to focus her attention on increased academic achievement.
"In the year 2005, the state will require students to take end-of-course exit exams, performance-based tests which the students must pass in order to graduate," Wise said.
While academic accomplishments are highly valued at Glenelg, Wise believes it will be necessary to improve the curriculum in the coming years.
She plans a stronger emphasis on reading and writing.
She has begun working with Glenelg's feeder schools -- Glenwood and Mount View middle schools -- to create what she calls "a concerted effort" to have each student experience academic success.
Informed that there were six students on the school parking lot during class hours, Wise said, "I'm on my way."
And she is.
River Hill High School will hold its back-to-school night for the second term at 7 p.m. Feb. 2.
The program will begin in homerooms, where parents of students in grades nine through 11 will be able to see their children's portfolios.
Principal Scott Pfeifer invites parents to have coffee with him at 8 a.m. Feb. 3 to share ideas and concerns for helping River Hill become the best it can be.
Don't miss the Old-Fashioned Chili and Corn Bread Supper from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Poplar Springs United Methodist Church, Watersville Road, Mount Airy.
Tickets are $5 for adults. Children younger than 6 pay $2.50.
Five learn lessons
Five fourth-grade students at Lisbon Elementary School have learned an important lesson about how to help others and how to motivate their fellow students to support their efforts.
The students -- Samantha Snoots, Afton Vechery, Melanie Midkiff, Lacey Orndorff and Elizabeth Ferris -- participated in a research project that involved identifying a problem and attempting to discover a solution.
Their problem: how to help Highlandtown Elementary School, on South Eaton Street in Baltimore, obtain enough books to create a media center.
The girls decided to hold a book drive. They designed posters and announcements to alert the school community.
As an incentive for students to participate in the book drive, the five girls decided to donate Beanie Babies from their own collections as prizes in a weekly raffle.
For every book that was donated, the donor received a raffle ticket.
The drive lasted four weeks, and the girls collected 28 boxes containing more than 2,000 books.
On Dec. 21 the students -- accompanied by parents, Principal Lou Chillemi and Gifted and Talented Enrichment teacher Jennifer Palich -- delivered the books.
Highlandtown Elementary School Principal Yvonne Garner invited the girls to read their favorite books to first-grade classes.
"These students have worked incredibly hard on this project," Palich said.
They collected and sorted the books, conducted the raffle and involved other community organizations.
"I think they have accomplished their goal of helping people, especially by helping other kids," Palich added.
The 4-H Daisy Agriculture Club held its Achievement Night last week at the Lisbon Fire Hall.
On hand for the occasion were County Executive James N. Robey and his wife, Janet.
Club President Megan Rynarzewski discussed highlights of the club's year, which included making crafts for a retirement home and sending two members -- Megan and David Nunke -- to the National 4-H Conference in Atlanta.
Jane Stull, a 4-H adviser for many years, was honored for her contributions to the organization. She handed out awards at the ceremony.
New officers were inducted. Megan Rynarzewski is president, and Leanne Novak is vice president.
Tami Torano will serve as recording secretary, and Niki Price is corresponding secretary.
The treasurer is Robert Rynarzewski.
Allison Novak is the reporter, and Jackie Thomas and Kelsey Torano will be the club's historians.
Heather Rynarzewski -- Robert and Megan's older sister -- was honored for her 12 years of 4-H service.
Pub Date: 1/28/99