Susan Shenk begins her first year as principal at Travilah Elementary School after 30 years in the Montgomery County school system. She taught all grades from first through sixth, and her children, Jamie and Samantha, are both Wootton High School graduates.
What is the biggest difference you foresee at Travilah between this year and last year?
“Other than me? I’m initiating the new Travilah Elementary Expectations (see above). We’re starting the new county curriculum for fourth and fifth grade, which is very exciting. … We’ve got a new roof on the building; the building looks great.”
What is a challenge that Travilah faces as a school?
“One of the biggest challenges that any school faces is being able to make sure that we meet the needs of all the children in the school. We need more hours in the day. … But I think we’re very fortunate to work in Montgomery County schools.”
Is there something you wish parents would do more?
“I don’t know if it’s to do more, but to continue reading with their children… and to have open communication with them.”
Is there something you wish parents would do less?
“No, not yet.
“I live just a mile and a half away, I’ve been a parent in the community. … I feel that I know the concerns of the parents, because I’ve been one.”
What is your favorite thing about Travilah?
“I have been so very impressed with the support of the parents and the PTA. … They have been so gracious in both time and support. … The children are just excited and friendly and seem ready to come to school.”
-Interview by Alex Scofield