Williamsport High School is getting a new principal about halfway through the school year, as Principal Henry “Hank” Bohlander is retiring for personal reasons, Washington County Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said Tuesday.
April Bishop, the school system’s secondary math supervisor, became acting principal at Williamsport High, effective Tuesday, according to a news release from the school system.
While the title is acting principal, Wilcox said his intent is for Bishop to become the regular principal at Williamsport High.
“(I) want to make sure it will be a great fit for everybody and I think it will be, but there’s no real science for this,” Wilcox said.
Bishop has a great knowledge of the curriculum, Wilcox said.
Williamsport High, which has 976 students, according to a fall enrollment report, has a Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Academy magnet program.
Until the winter break, Bishop will be splitting her duties between the high school and central office, but will be spending most of her time at the high school, Wilcox said.
Bohlander said he will be at the high school periodically before the winter break to assist in the transition.
The board of education is expected to vote on Bohlander’s retirement at next Tuesday’s meeting, said Donna Newcomer, director of human resources. His retirement is scheduled to become effective Jan. 3.
Salary details for Bishop in her new position will be worked out, Wilcox said.
“We’re sad to see Dr. Bohlander retire, but I think he thought it was in his family’s best interest,” Wilcox said.
Bohlander said his wife recently retired and they both needed to take a rest, but he might consider getting back into education in a year or so.
Bohlander became principal at Williamsport High about five years ago after working for 37 years with Frederick County (Md.) Public Schools. His last job with Frederick County was as associate schools superintendent, he said.
“I think the five years I spent at Williamsport were some of the most rewarding of my long career,” said Bohlander, who lives in Frederick, Md. “I really grew to love the students and parents of the community.”
It couldn’t have been a more cooperative and friendly community, he said.
“(We) worked hard, but had lots of fun with the kids and the teachers,” he said.
Bishop, who lives in Hagerstown’s North End, said she’s excited about working at Williamsport High. She said the teachers were informed of her appointment after school Tuesday and the students will be told today, the first day she will be at the school as acting principal.
“Williamsport is a wonderful community and the high school is a family. They really work together and are doing wonderful things for students,” she said.
Bishop, a 1990 Smithsburg High graduate, has been secondary math supervisor since the 2004-05 school year. Her first job with the school system was teaching math at Smithsburg Middle starting in 1994. She also taught math at Smithsburg High, was assistant principal at Boonsboro Middle for three years and was assistant principal at Boonsboro High for the 2003-04 school year.