Local principals named finalists for BCPS award
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 12:39

Goldys, McLennan honored

by Nicole Rodman

    Two local elementary school leaders are celebrating after being recognized as two of the top principals in the county.
    Pat Goldys, principal of Norwood STEM Program, and Barbara McLennan, principal of Dundalk Elementary School, were both selected as finalists for Baltimore County Public Schools’ (BCPS) Principal of the Year award.
    Established last year, the Principal of the Year award recognizes excellence among school leaders from across the county school system.
    Five finalists for the award, including Goldys and McLennan, were announced at the BCPS Principal’s Leadership Meeting on April 23.
    “Being a principal is one of the most challenging and important jobs in the school system, and these five finalists exemplify the commitment BCPS has to ensuring that our schools are led with integrity, dedication and talent,” BCPS superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance said in a statement.
    As Goldys told The Eagle she was “honored to be recognized” as a finalist for the award.
    “In my opinion, every principal deserves the title of ‘Principal of the Year,’” she added.
    Goldys told The Eagle she grew up knowing she wanted to be an educator.
    She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education before going on to earn a master’s degree in elementary education.

An avid learner, she continued her education, earning her 30+ and administration/supervision certification.
    A 34-year veteran educator, Goldys taught for 11 years and served as an assistant principal for 4 years before becoming a principal.
    She has served as a principal for 19 years, including nine years at Villa Cresta Elementary School and 10 years at Norwood.
    “I have laughed, cried, worked many, many hours of my 34 years in my educational career ... and have learned how to be a better person from my students, teachers, administrators and parents,” she noted.
    Goldys said she enjoys the creative aspects of being a principal.
    “I have to use creativity in my job every day,” she said. “Every day is different in education, and there are so many ways to grow to become better.”
    While she appreciates being recognized for her efforts, Goldys acknowledged that Norwood’s success is a team effort.
    “I am an ordinary principal building an extraordinary school with my spectacular teachers, amazing students, caring parents and supportive community, she said, noting, “Knowing that keeps me moving in the right direction every day.”
    For her part, McLennan noted that she was “very surprised to hear my name announced as one of the finalists” for the Principal of the Year award.
    “It was an honor to stand up with my peers and to have been selected by my community and school for such a wonderful award,” she told The Eagle. “A humbling experience and great surprise!  It is an honor to represent all of the wonderful principals in Baltimore County as well.”
    Like Goldys, McLennan knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher.
     “I was one of those rare children who always wanted to be a teacher and [that is] why [I] went downstairs to the basement after school every day to play school with my friends,” she recalled.
    McLennan earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Richmond and went on to earn a master’s degree in education and supervision from Loyola College.
    She has worked in county schools for 28 years, the last 11 at Dundalk Elementary.
    McLennan enjoys the opportunity to indulge in her lifelong love of learning. She also enjoys the time she gets to spend with the children at her school.
    “The best part of being a principal is having an opportunity to be with children all day long,” she noted. “I learn more from children every day than I would ever learn from a textbook or from going to school.  They inspire me to be better as a person and as a principal, and they make me happy because they speak from their hearts.”
    McLennan especially appreciates the close-knit environment that has been fostered at Dundalk Elementary.
    “Dundalk is a very special place to work,” she said, adding, “We are a family that comes together on a daily basis to support the needs of our whole community.”
    Along with Goldys and McLennan, finalists for the Principal of the Year award include Doug Elmendorf of Chase Elementary School, Andrew Last of Hereford High School and Sam Mustipher of New Town High School.
    The winner of the BCPS Principal of the Year award will be announced during a ceremony at Loch Raven High School on May 5.