Billie Jean Bensen, the new principal at Hoover is making her return to a school after spending the last two years in the Office of School Performance in the central administration office. “I was very anxious to get back to a school,” Bensen said.
Bensen is in her 21st year with Montgomery County Public Schools. She began her career as a social studies teacher, splitting her time between Magruder and Kennedy high schools. “All my classroom teaching was at the high school level,” she said.
She then moved on to teach solely at Magruder before shifting to Watkins Mill, Then Wottoon and Blake. “I was part of the administrative team that opened Blake,” Bensen said.
She then moved to the administration post she held before moving to Hoover. Bensen was actually appointed assistant principal at Wood Middle School in Rockville for three weeks before being moved to Hoover.
Although this will be Bensen’s first year dealing with middle school students, she is not concerned about the differences between the age groups. She has a son in 8th grade so she is familiar with some of the quirks of adolescence.
Other aspects she expects will be similar to her past experiences. “Students are students. The educational aspects of it are the same,” she said.
Additionally, as principal, much of her day will be spent working to assist teachers.
Although she values the time she spent in the administration as something which helped her to gain perspective on the school system as a whole, Bensen seems very excited to get back into a school. “It feels right,” she said.
Bensen considers the focus of her administrative philosophy to be the students. “I make a conscious decision to help the students,” she said.
Bensen does not expect to make any major changes to Hoover for the time being. “Hoover is a very well run school,” she said. “I’m going to spend a lot of time watching and listening.”
She hopes to learn from the staff and cites the longevity of many teachers and staff as proof that the school is operating well. “There’s got to be a reason why nobody ever leaves,” she said.
Bensen is not the only new face walking the halls of Hoover. Others include Judy Klimpl, Assistant Principal, Hal Price, Student Support Specialist, Jeff Baker, TV Production, Diana Barcelo-Viera, Health/P.E., John Graham, Science teacher, Aubery Hill, Math teacher, Michael Humphreys, English teacher, Nicole Mina, English teacher, Lillie Randle, Special Education teacher, Brian Semos, Chorus, Illene Silverman, Paraeducator (Bridge), Michele Weber, Bridge Program andArthur Lamont Williams, Paraeducator (Bridge).