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Staff Focus

Photos of exceptional staff

A world-class educational system fully leverages the talent, energy and creativity of highly engaged staff. Staff engagement is a prerequisite to student engagement so we foster a culture that brings out the best in our employees.

Staff Focus: Clara Hendrick, Alternative Education Paraeducator, Laurel Woods Elementary School

Laurel Woods Elementary School Alternative Education Paraeducator Clara Hendrick works closely with a handful of students who have behavioral challenges, and she helps teachers with developing the most effective strategies to reach them.

Staff Focus: Donald Felch, CMSgt, USAF (Ret), JROTC Aerospace Science Instructor, Oakland Mills High School

Chief Master Sergeant Donald Felch combines his love for developing young leaders with his military background and civilian education in his role as a JROTC aerospace science instructor at Oakland Mills High School.

Staff Focus: David Klotz, Advanced Physical Science Teacher, Howard High School

Howard High School’s David Klotz has helped to launch the Advanced Physical Science course countywide and to revamp Howard’s School Improvement efforts.

Staff Focus: Kenny Porritt, Reach Academy Program Co-Lead and Special Educator, Long Reach High School

Kenny Porritt serves as the special educator and co-lead of Long Reach High School’s 9th grade Reach Academy, a restorative justice program designed to support and accelerate student achievement through the first year of high school.

Staff Focus: Ella Bradley, Human Capital Recruitment and Talent Acquisition Manager

The former teacher and later assistant principal is now making her mark in HCPSS Human Resources. She has been instrumental in HCPSS’ efforts to diversify its workforce, and works hard to help educators take the next step in their professional journey.

Staff Focus: Keith Artley, Instructor, HVAC Academy

After a successful HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) career, Keith Artley found himself back in school. As the first classroom instructor for HCPSS’ new HVAC Academy through Career and Technology Education, Artley enjoys introducing the trade to the next generation of young industry leaders. Read more about Mr. Artley in this HCPSS Sgt

Staff Focus: Suzanne McMurtray, ARL Liaison, Homewood Center

McMurtray began as a computer science teacher and is now busy ensuring Homewood students in ARL and Gateway programs have what they need to succeed, providing students and families with supports and resources, cultivating a positive school environment and uplifting staff.

Staff Focus: Stephanie Discepolo, CTE Resource Teacher

Discepolo—who has dedicated her entire career to HCPSS—has since been working as a CTE resource teacher for 18 years. Generally, she works with local organizations to develop and grow programs for students, mentors new teachers, facilitates professional development for CTE teachers, advises students on post-secondary opportunities, runs the Career Academies Summer Programs, oversees the marketing of CTE programs, organizes special events like the Women in Engineering conference and more.

Staff Focus: Katherine “Kathy” Kirn, Home and Hospital Teacher

For the last 10 years, Kirn has been working one-on-one with Howard County students who can’t go to school because of physical illness or disability, emotional crisis or chronic health impairment.

Staff Focus: Kathleen Wojcik, Agricultural Science Academy Teacher, Applications and Research Laboratory

Kathleen Wojcik exudes strength and competence as the first teacher of the newly re-established Agriculture and Natural Resources Academy (Agricultural Science Academy). All her experiences have equipped her for this role as not only teacher, but advocate for the agriculture industry and students considering an agriculture career path.