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Reeder supports schools in new ways

July 30, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Dave Reeder has worked at six Washington County public schools, and he said his new role as director for middle school education will be another way for him to support many of them.

Reeder, who began his new job July 1, most recently served as principal of E. Russell Hicks Middle School. He began teaching in Washington County in 1979.

According to the school system's budget, Reeder's salary is $101,900.

"I don't know that I wanted to leave the schools," Reeder said. "I was looking for a different challenge ... a different venue to help students, teachers and principals."

Most of Reeder's career has been spent as a teacher or administrator in middle schools. He has worked at Boonsboro, Northern, Western Heights, Springfield and E. Russell Hicks middle schools.

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Reeder also spent seven years as principal at North Hagerstown High School.

He said he enjoys middle school students, and describes them as being at the age of "hair, hormones and hysteria."

"It's a crazy time for kids," Reeder said. "And there's a certain personality that works with those kind of kids."

As director for middle school education, Reeder said he will support middle school students, teachers and principals. He said his focus is on success and achievement.

"I help support the process of moving students to the next level," he said. "Our goal is to make sure that all of our middle schools are performing at the highest level."

The director for middle school education position has been vacant for more than 10 years, Reeder said. The last person to hold the job was Washington County Board of Education Member Paul W. Bailey.

Reeder said middle school students are succeeding, but there are a few areas he would like to improve. He mentioned eighth-grade scores on the Maryland School Assessment exam, which dropped slightly last year, and achievement for minority students as areas of focus.

Reeder said the transition from elementary school to middle school can be difficult, and some students' test scores drop after that switch.

"My goal is to really look at the (achievement) data on each of the schools, and try to get to know all of the schools as intimately as possible, and the staff ... and be a sounding board for academic improvement ... in a way that will create a culture that is conducive to get all students to be the best they can be."

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