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He's been there

Former principal Myers will now support others in that position

Former principal Myers will now support others in that position

August 15, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN

karenh@herald-mail.com

Of all the jobs he could have done, Washington County Public Schools administrator Robert C. "Bo" Myers, a former U.S. Marine, might have chosen one of the hardest.

"It's the most complex job in the world, I really believe," said Myers, who this summer moved into a new role after three years as North Hagerstown High School principal.

As executive director for secondary school administration, Myers said last Tuesday that he will help support principals in areas such as management, discipline and alternative programs.

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Myers will work closely with Boyd Michael III, executive director of secondary education.

Michael said Myers' new position will help give him time to focus on instruction and curriculum. According to Michael, several administrative positions were eliminated in the past years, even as federal and state standards for student performance became more strict.

"I won't be spending less time, less energy, less hours, I'll just be focusing more on instruction," Michael said.

Myers, 56, who worked as assistant principal and principal for 11 years, called his time at North High "the most joyous ride that I could ever imagine."

Principals, he said, are responsible for running schools like corporations, all the while acting as advocates for children and liaisons for parents.

"Understand that you're not only the CEO, you're also the mother or the father," Myers said during an interview in his new office across the hall from Michael in the Central Office.

An educator for 29 years, Myers left the U.S. Marine Corps as a captain.

His honorable discharge and degrees in sports medicine and education hang from the walls. Though he has three master's degrees, Myers said he never pursued a doctorate.

"I just never had the desire to get focused on one little thing," he said.

During his time at North High, Myers said he believed administration and staff were able to "unlock everything," and "everything clicked."

The school was able to help even some of its neediest students succeed, said Myers. He said the key is to support students and create programs that work for them.

"Those kids in general have great needs, and they will show a face to you that's really not the face that's inside," Myers said.

According to the Maryland Department of Education, the graduation rate at North High increased from about 80 percent in 2002 to around 82 percent in 2004. Official graduation figures for this year have not yet been released by the department.

Patricia Abernethy, deputy superintendent for instruction, said laws making schools accountable to every student have increased the need for administrators.

"With No Child Left Behind, the accountability has been ratcheted up from the classroom level to the district level," Abernethy said.

After years in the principal's office, Myers said he believes he's now in a position to help administrators throughout the county.

Myers said he plans to spend part of each working day at schools around the county, offering on-site help to his fellow principals.

He loved working at North High.

"I will share with you, that's the way I've felt about every school I've been in," Myers said.

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