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Essex-area principals among six finalists for 2020 Principal of the Year

ESSEX, MD—Two principals from the Essex area are among six finalists for 2020-21 Baltimore County Public Schools Principal of the Year.

Kelly O’Connell is in her fourth year as principal at Mars Estates Elementary School and her 18th year with BCPS. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in human resources school leadership from Towson University.

Brian Powell is in his fourth year as the principal at Kenwood High School and his 12th year working for BCPS. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education from Salisbury University.

The other four finalists are as follows:

Jane Martin is in her 12th year as principal at Pot Spring Elementary. She started with BCPS as a teacher at Pleasant Plains Elementary in 1995. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in literacy education from Loyola University.

Brian Williams is in his 10th year as the principal at Baltimore Highlands Elementary and his 25th year with BCPS. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Penn State University and a master’s degree in leadership and teaching from the College of Notre Dame.

Rochelle Archelus is in her sixth year as the principal at Woodlawn Middle and her 23rd year working for BCPS. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in human resources development from Towson University.

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Kalisha Miller is in her fourth year as the principal at Pikesville Middle and her 20th year with BCPS. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina A&T and a master’s degree in special education from Coppin State University.

“We are so fortunate to have these dedicated school leaders providing dynamic leadership in the communities they serve,” BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams said. “Our students and staff have continuously turned to them for guidance, especially during these unexpected recent challenges.”

The Principal of the Year selection process started this year with an opportunity for community members to nominate school leaders. BCPS received 3,905 nominations, which were taken into consideration by the Principal of the Year selection committee led by the Office of Organizational Effectiveness.

BCPS will name the 2020-21 BCPS Principals of the Year in May.

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