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Smithsburg High graduate to be next principal at North Hagerstown High School

May 11, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

Duane A. McNairn, a Smithsburg High graduate who is principal at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, will be North Hagerstown High School’s next principal.

McNairn, 45, who lives in the Hagerstown area, will become North High’s principal effective July 1, succeeding Valerie Novak, who is retiring this summer. Novak is in her seventh year as principal at North High.

McNairn’s transfer to North High was part of a series of personnel moves unanimously approved by the Washington County Board of Education during its May 1 meeting, according to school system documents and a videotape of the meeting.

North Hagerstown High is the school system’s second largest school, although enrollment at North High and South Hagerstown High is similar. Last fall, the official enrollment at North High was 1,265 students, while South High’s enrollment was 1,269.

“I’m very excited. Looking forward to the opportunity. It’s a great place to be, a great school,” said McNairn, who was an assistant principal at North High during the 2006-07 school year when Novak was principal at North.

McNairn said he wants to “continue to put North High on the map and to make sure we help every single student reach his or her potential.”

McNairn has been principal at Hicks Middle, in Hagerstown’s South End, for five years.

He was an assistant principal at South High for three years, from 2003 to 2006, he said.

Before that, he was an administrative intern for one year at Northern Middle School, McNairn said.

McNairn began working for Washington County Public Schools in 1998 at Smithsburg High School, where he served as band director for four years, he said.

He is a 1985 graduate of Smithsburg High School.

Previously, McNairn worked for Frederick County Public Schools for eight years, he said. During that time, he was band director at West Frederick Middle School.

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