Maryland educator is new JHS principal

CHARLES TOWN – A veteran Maryland educator is the new principal at Jefferson High School.

Kenneth M. Garvey, of Libertytown, Md., served in military intelligence in the Army and has experience as a math instructor and assistant principal in Frederick County, Md.

Kenneth M. Garvey has been selected principal for Jefferson High.

The 55-year-old also worked as a co-principal in Delaware. “We are excited by the experience he brings to the job,” said Susan Wall, superintendent of Jefferson County Schools. “His work in administration and teaching makes him a valuable asset.”

Garvey holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Mary Washington College as well as a master’s in computer science from Hood College in Frederick. His certification in secondary school leadership also is from Hood.

School board member Scott Sudduth said that he and other board members who approved Garvey’s hiring earlier this month followed the recommendation of a committee and weren’t aware of other applicants for the job.

Many students, parents and others had hoped to see the position go to Tony Roman, an educator since 1985 who has served as assistant principal at Jefferson since 2006. He has degrees from Salem University and West Virginia University.

Earlier this year, school board members tapped a retired Berkeley County educator to fill in as principal at the Shenandoah Junction school after Howard Guth resigned.

Guth’s departure came after a Maryland judge sentenced him in a case that left a Maryland woman dead.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of criminally negligent manslaughter. Police said Guth had a blood alcohol content of .08 – the legal limit in Maryland – when he struck Priyanka Malik, 26, as she crossed Sharpsburg Pike on foot on March 11, 2013.

Guth was sentenced to nine days in jail, which he served on weekends. He’d previously been arrested on DUI charges in 2009.

George Michael, who retired after serving decades as a principal and administrator in Berkeley County, was named interim principal at Jefferson in February.

Meanwhile, Martinsburg resident Eric Vandell is the new principal at Harpers Ferry Middle School.

Vandell, 45, holds degrees from West Virginia University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and social studies grades 5 to 12; his master’s degree is in special education. He also holds professional administrative certification.

He has been at Harpers Ferry Middle for 19 years, teaching special education classes for 10 years, serving as a head teacher for two years and then as assistant principal for seven years.

“His experience with students and the community has been excellent,” Wall said. “He has a strong community base, as well as with the parents and the park service. We are happy to have him on board.”

The search to fill the two positions started in February. Four candidates applied for the Jefferson High post while 10 tried for the middle school job. The open positions were posted for 30 days and also were listed on a national website.

Candidates then came before a committee consisting of teachers, parents and school administrators for interviews, Wall said. They also responded in writing to a question from the committee.

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