"This opportunity allows me to give back to MCPS in the areas I enjoy most, which are hiring and training outstanding people," Goodman wrote in a letter to parents and students. "While I am excited by this prospect, leaving Blake is one of the most difficult things I can imagine."
An educator since the 1970's, Goodman became principal of the then-Northeast Area High School, located on Norwood Road in Cloverly, in 1997. The school was renamed after jazz musician "Eubie" Blake before it opened in the fall of 1998. In 2005, she was profiled by Bethesda Magazine (not available online); the following year, she gained national attention for scheduling one lunch period for the entire school, encouraging students to mix while providing a time to meet in clubs and with teachers during the day.
Goodman will take her new office on July 1; meanwhile, a search for a new principal is underway. Teacher Scott Sussman, who graduated from Blake in 2002, is organizing a tribute to Goodman open to "all former and current students, staff, parents, and members of the community." For more info, you can e-mail him at scott_a_sussman at mcpsmd dot org.
Goodman was my principal while I went to Blake (c/o 2005!) and though I didn't always agree with her, it's hard to deny that our school would have been so well-regarded without her. She will be missed. Below is the full text of Principal Goodman's letter:
Dear Blake Students and Parents:
This is without a doubt one of the most difficult letters I have had to write. At today’s meeting of the Montgomery County Board of Education, I was appointed to the position of Associate Superintendent for the Office of Human Resources and Development, effective July 1, 2010. Other than working with students, this opportunity allows me to give back to MCPS in the areas I enjoy most, which are hiring and training outstanding people. While I am excited by this prospect, leaving Blake is one of the most difficult things I can imagine.
I have had incredible opportunities in my 37 year career, but none will ever rival opening and leading James Hubert Blake High School for the past 13 years. Blake has been a labor of love for me, and I can honestly say I looked forward to going to school every day. From the first year before Blake even opened—when we wrestled with issues from boundaries in the Northeast Consortium to choosing a school name, mascot and colors—to the dynasty we have built as a strong community dedicated to excellence in academics, the arts and humanities and athletics, it has been energizing and exciting. Along the way, we have all come together to create an inclusive, creative and welcoming school culture where everyone is valued, that keeps our students coming back to visit with a sense of pride and belonging that is unmatched in Montgomery County.
In a short time, you will be getting information on the process for identifying my replacement. I hope you will be a part of the process and know that James Hubert Blake High School will be left in good hands.
I will have much more to share with you before I leave but, more than anything, I thank you for allowing me to be your principal for all these years. Thirteen years represents the span of a child’s public school education, from kindergarten to graduation, and I am humbled and honored to have served you for this time at James Hubert Blake High School. Go Bengals!
Carole C. Goodman