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Hanlin starts new job with school system

July 17, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

After two years of working with Washington County Public Schools' elementary grade levels, Donna Hanlin was approved last week as the school system's Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Instruction.

She began her new job duties almost immediately and said Wednesday that she was "very busy" finishing some projects and working on new issues.

Hanlin is new to Washington County, but she has worked for 16 years in school administration and for 28 years in education, mostly in Wicomico County, Md., she said. There, she was as a teacher, counselor, principal and director of secondary education - a position similar to the one she now holds.

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"I'm looking forward to building upon success already achieved," Hanlin said. "There are a lot of talented people here."

Hanlin said one of her greatest goals will be working to meet the demands of federal No Child Left Behind legislation. She said the schools will continue to look at each student's individual needs.

"We're making sure that programs are individualized to meet the needs of kids," she said. "It's all about student achievement."

That means achievement after high school as well. Hanlin said administrators will be thinking about how to help students continue to do well after high school.

"We're preparing students for the future ... for their lives beyond high school, and to actually prepare them for what lies beyond high school," Hanlin said.

She said rigorous and relevant programs for students are important to this type of preparation. Students are being offered learning opportunities that allow them to make real-life connections to what they are learning, Hanlin said.

Hanlin said she enjoyed working with elementary education, but the bulk of her experience is with high schools.

"I think that's where my heart is," she said.

After the Washington County Board of Education voted unanimously last week to approve Hanlin as the new assistant superintendent for secondary instruction, Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said Hanlin was an obvious and good choice for the job.

"We'll be utilizing her excellent talent and experience, but in a different position," Morgan said. "She's been really great."

Hanlin said she'll be working to ensure that there are more professional development and collaborative teaching opportunities. In the next week, there will be training on classroom level improvement planning tools. Hanlin said these are tools that teachers can use to work together to find out what works best for students.

"They're using evidence of what's worked," she said. "They can plan a lab then to meet the needs of every student. We're using professional development to meet the needs of the teachers so they can meet the needs of the students."

Morgan said a new director of elementary education had not been named.

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