By: Amina Jamil
Everyone knew and loved Mrs. Leonard, our beloved principal. After being the principal at Hammond for seven years, she has advanced in her career and is now Community Superintendent. Although she is no longer at Hammond, her spirit lives on.
The Bear Press: Could you describe your new position as Community Superintendent in your own words?
Ms. Leonard: I have the opportunity to support 25 of Howard County’s school communities, including 12 elementary, 6 middle, 4 high schools and our 3 special centers. If students, parents or community members have needs that may require resources outside of the school, I assist with those needs. I also support Superintendent Martirano in enacting his Strategic Call to Action for the Howard County Public School System.
BP: What do you enjoy most about your new position?
Ms. L: I have loved learning so much in this position about elementary and middle schools, since I only worked in high schools as a teacher and administrator. I also enjoy meeting students, staff members, parents and community members from across Howard County. We have incredible people throughout our school system (although, clearly, the very best are at Hammond), and I have been inspired by the work being done in all of our schools. J
BP: What do you miss the most about Hammond?
Ms. L: I miss the people at Hammond every day. The dedication of the staff members, the enthusiasm of the students, the support from Hammond’s parents, and the diversity of the entire community are second to none.
But, once a Golden Bear, always a Golden Bear!
BP: What experiences or lessons you took away from Hammond have helped you in your new position?
Ms. L: I try to bring a little Where People Are Important to my work every day, and I enjoy supporting other principals and schools as they focus on creating strong relationships and envisioning successful futures for their students, just as you do at Hammond. I also learned about the importance of listening to, learning from, and leading with students and staff members while at Hammond, and I hope I am able to do the same for other schools in my new role.
BP: Could you describe one thing you hope to accomplish as Community Superintendent?
Ms. L: I hope that every student in Howard County has the opportunity to access rigorous courses, learn from skilled and compassionate teachers, partner with other students to build community (particularly if those students come from different backgrounds than themselves), and leaves school each afternoon a little bit better than when they entered in the morning.