New principals for Barnhart, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy
When students go back to school in August, they may be greeted by new faces in the principal’s office.
Last week, Charles County Public Schools announced that William Miller, currently vice principal at Mary B. Neal Elementary School, has been appointed principal of Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy, and Ben Kohlhorst, currently vice principal at John Henson Middle School, who will take over the helm at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School.
The school system also announced several principal and vice principal transfers, as well as the appointment of seven new vice principals. All appointments and transfers are effective July 1.
Miller will be replacing outgoing principal Kristin Shields, who has been named director of Title I services for CCPS.
“She’ll be working with the principals of all of our Title 1 Schools,” CCPS spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson said.
Title 1 is a federally-funded program providing additional services to schools in high poverty areas. Six schools in Charles County qualify as Title 1 schools, including Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy.
Shields has served as principal of Mt. Hope/ Nanjemoy since 2011. In March, Shields was named Maryland’s 2016 National Distinguished Principal by the Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals.
Miller said Shields worked hard to forge connections with the tight-knit community surrounding Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy.
“So I’m really looking forward to building on that relationship Ms. Shields built and continuing with that,” Miller said. “You’ve got to build a solid foundation.”
Miller said he plans to schedule some meet-andgreets with the community later in the summer.
Miller began his career in CCPS in 2001 as a fifth grade teacher at Eva Turner Elementary School, and also taught at Berry Elementar y School.
Miller said he decided to go into administration to have a positive impact on students and new teachers.
He served as vice principal at Eva Turner for three years before coming to Neal in 2014.
Miller, whose mother was a teacher, said he first developed a love of teaching while in high school, when he tutored elementary school students during his free time, and decided in college that he wanted to pursue teaching as a profession.
Miller said he particularly enjoys working with elementary school students.
“Elementary schools is all about molding the kids into the citizens they’ll be 10 years down the road,” Miller said. “You’re building that foundation, teaching them about being respectful and responsible.”
For Kohlhorst, education was a change of plans that took place in college.
“I was originally a business major in college, but that seemed unfulfilling. I did some soul searching, and decided that education would be the most fulfilling for me,” Kohlhorst said. “I like the human aspect, that you can have a positive impact that can change the world.”
Kohlhorst began his career as a math teacher in the STAY program at the F.B. Gwynn Education Center in 2004. In 2007, he helped open Theodore G. Davis Middle School, where he taught sixth grade math.
“I have always loved working with kids, but your influence only extends as far as your classroom,” Kohlhorst said. “I thought as an administrator, I’d be able to have an impact on the whole school community.”
Kohlhorst has served as vice principal at John Hanson Middle School since 2011.
Kohlhorst said he doesn’t foresee any challenges going from middle to elementary school.
“In the end, kids are kids, and you’ve got to treat them New principal appointments: Ben Kohlhorst, vice principal at John Hanson Middle School was appointed principal at C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School. William Miller, vice principal at Mary B. Neal Elementary School was appointed principal at Mt. Hope/ Nanjemoy Elementary School. New vice principal appointments: Matthew Deegan, administrative assistant at North Point High School was appointed vice principal at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. Shayna Gold, teacher/administrative assistant at the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center was appointed vice principal at General Smallwood Middle School. Autumn Hoffman, French teacher at Thomas Stone High School was appointed vice principal at Maurice J. McDonough High School. Michael Hoffman, learning resource teacher at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School was appointed vice principal at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School. Robynn Mudd, instructional resource teacher at Eva Turner Elementary School was appointed vice principal at J.C. Parks Elementary School. Erica Williams, teacher/administrative assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School was appointed vice principal at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School. Tara Zeier, third-grade teacher at Mary B. Neal Elementary School was appointed vice principal at Berry Elementary School. Principal transfers: Westlake High School Principal Chrystal Benson transferred to principal at Thomas Stone High School. Dr. James Craik Elementary Principal Debbie Calvert transferred to principal at William A. Diggs Elementary School. Berry Elementary School Principal Melissa Logan transferred to principal at Dr. James Craik Elementary School.
with respect,” Kohlhorst said. “It’s all about treating kids right, and making their education as positive as you can.”
Kohlhorst will be replacing Barnhart principal Troy Thomas Stone High School Principal Mike Meiser transferred to principal at Westlake High School. T.C. Martin Elementary School Principal Greg Miller transferred to principal at J.C. Parks Elementary School. J.P. Ryon Elementary School Principal Robert Opiekun transferred to principal at T.C. Martin Elementary School. William A. Diggs Elementary School Principal Sandra Taylor transferred to principal at Berry Elementary School. J.C. Parks Elementary School Principal Thadine Wright transferred to principal at J.P. Ryon Elementary School. Vice principal transfers: Robert Babiak, vice principal at Henry E. Lackey High School transferred to North Point High School. Shannon Finnegan, vice principal at Berry Elementary School transferred to Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School. Mary Finneran, vice principal at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary transferred to Mary B. Neal Elementary School. Philip Genua, vice principal at North Point High School transferred to John Hanson Middle School. Shaneha Harvard, vice principal at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School transferred to Westlake High School. Erin Kaple, vice principal at Westlake High School transferred to Piccowaxen Middle School. Karen Lewis, vice principal at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School transferred to Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School. Tammika Little, vice principal at John Hanson Middle School transferred to Henry E. Lackey High School. Kerri Loyd, vice principal at Piccowaxen Middle School transferred to Milton M. Somers Middle School. Tangela Scales, vice principal at Milton M. Somers Middle School transferred to Henry E. Lackey High School. Brenda Tillotson, vice principal at General Smallwood Middle School transferred to John Hanson Middle School. Wualanda Thenstead, vice principal at Maurice J. McDonough High School transferred to St. Charles High School.
Barnes, who is leaving employment with the school system. He said he hopes to reassure parents and the community during the transition.
“I just want them to be
confident that they’ve got a good person taking over,” Kohlhorst said. “I’m positive, and I’ve got tremendous energy. I’m really looking forward to it.”