Havre de Grace High principal to be transferred to John Archer

The Harford County Board of Education bid farewell Monday to its 2011-12 student representative, Havre de Grace High School senior Anthony Cofrancesco.
The Harford County Board of Education bid farewell Monday to its 2011-12 student representative, Havre de Grace High School senior Anthony Cofrancesco. (Photo courtesy Lindsay Bilodeau, Harford, Patuxent Homestead)

Pending approval of the county school board, Havre de Grace High School Principal Patricia Walling is expected to become principal of John Archer School at the end of the school year and will be replaced by James Reynolds, an assistant principal at Bel Air High School.

The transfers are among several year-end administrative changes that have been requested by Superintendent Robert Tomback and were presented to the school board at its meeting in Bel Air Monday. The board took no action on the superintendent's request Monday, delaying any action until its next meeting on June 11.


Walling has been principal at HHS since the start of the 2006-07 school year. She was previously an assistant principal at Bel Air High.

At John Archer, Walling will fill the vacancy left when the previous principal, Deborea Montgomery, who was assigned to a position in special education at the school system's central office in March, shortly after some parents of students at the special needs school made allegations of abuse against some of their children by the school's staff.


Reynolds joined Harford County Public Schools in 2001 as an assistant principal at Havre de Grace High School, where he served until 2006, when he was transferred to Bel Air High.

He will be joining HHS "as a result of promotion by the Board of Education to principal and assignment by Dr. Tomback to that location," according to HCPS spokesperson Jane Jubb.

According to the superintendent's transfer and promotion list, Havre de Grace High is the only secondary school in the county getting a new principal next school year. Last year, Tomback demoted and replaced the principals at Aberdeen and Joppatowne High schools and replaced the principal at Fallston High School.

In addition to John Archer, which is classified as an elementary school even though it serves students of all ages, six other elementary schools are expected to get new principals:

• Bel Air Elementary, Dyann Mack will replace Robin Payne;

• Dublin Elementary, Dawn Garner will replace Michael Steeg;

• Edgewood Elementary, Jennifer Drumgoole will replace Lisa Sundquist;

• Norrisville Elementary, Vicki Eilliott will replace Duane Wallace;

• North Bend Elementary, Robin Payne will replace Margaret Kirk; and

• North Harford Elementary, Lisa Sundquist will replace Frances Haslup.

According to the superintendent's list, the remaining transfers and promotions involve various assistant principal positions at the elementary and secondary level.

Cofrancesco honored

The school board bid farewell to its 2011-12 student representative, Havre de Grace High School senior Anthony Cofrancesco, during Monday's board business meeting.

Tomback presented Cofrancesco with a resolution as a token of the board's gratitude, as well as a stipend of $1,000 for the work he has done throughout the school year.

"Through his dedication and commitment, he provided and facilitated an exemplary communication between the students in the Harford County Public Schools and the Board of Education," Tomback read. "The Board of Education commends Mr. Cofrancesco for the extraordinary quality of his work and applauds his willingness to share his time and energy on behalf of the student in the school system."

Cofrancesco thanked everyone who got him to where he was standing and helped him throughout his time on the board.

He was able to accomplish a lot during the school year, he continued, including advocating for partial voting rights for future student representatives on Harford's school board.

Jokingly, he said, "And if you think I did a great job this year..." before introducing Panache Mutombo from Patterson Mill High School, who will be the 2012-13 student representative.

Educator Hall of Fame

Terry L. LaPorte was inducted into the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame for his 40 years of service to the school system.

LaPorte began as a media specialist at Havre de Grace Middle School in 1967 and went on to serve at Jarrettsville Elementary, North Harford Middle, Fallston High and Fallston Middle schools.

In 1995, he was promoted to supervisor of library services, a position he held until retiring in 2007.

"During his 12 years as supervisor of library services," school system manager of communications Teri Kranefeld said, "he played a key role in computerizing all HCPS library media centers with a library automation system, providing safe online databases to support the curriculum, providing all school libraries with updated furniture and implementing the high school Barnes and Noble project."

LaPorte had many supporters witness his recognition, including his twin sister from Princeton, N.J.

He thanked his many colleagues, especially the people at Havre de Grace Middle School, who he said felt more like "a family" to him.

2013-14 calendar approved

The school board also approved the 2013-14 school year calendar Monday.

As recommended by the calendar committee, the 2013-14 calendar makes provisions to ensure students are in school for the mandatory 180 days and teachers are in school for their mandatory 190 days.

School will begin for kindergarten through 12th grade students Aug. 26, 2013, and Aug. 28 for pre-kindergarten student.

New teachers will report Aug. 19 and returning teachers on Aug. 21.

If no inclement weather days are used, the last day for pre-kindergarten students will be June 5; the 180th day for kindergarten through 11th grade students will be June 9 and the 190th and last day for teachers will be June 11.

The calendar was designed with the last possible day of school to allow for make-up days in case of inclement weather.

Those last possible days are, for students June 13, and, for teachers, June 18, with possible make-up days being April 14 and 15, then June 10 and 13.

During the academic year, school will be closed for one-day observances, for both students and teachers, on Sept. 2, 2013 (Labor Day); Sept. 5, 2013 (Rosh Hashanah); Oct. 18, 2013 (Maryland State Education Association Day); Jan. 20, 2014 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day); Feb. 17, 2014 (Presidents Day); and May 26, 2014 (Memorial Day).

Schools will also be closed Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving break, with a two-hour early dismissal Nov. 27, Dec. 23 through Jan. 1 for winter break and April 16 through April 21 for spring break.

Staff development days, when schools will be closed for students, will be on Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Jan. 21, Jan. 22, April 14 and April 15.

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