Q&A: Cape St. Claire Elementary's Newest Principal
CSCE Principal Lisa Leitholf was previously the head of Seven Oaks Elementary in Odenton.
Patch caught up with Cape St. Claire Elementary's new Principal Lisa Leitholf during the busy week before school starts back.
This year will be a fresh start for the elementary school in many ways, after the departure of eight educators at the end of the school year. Longtime Principal Donna Pergerson and Assistant Principal Diane Lorton retired in June. Four teachers also retired, and two others transferred to other schools, according to the school's June newsletter.
Leitholf was named head of CSCE in July, and the school's new assistant principal is Janet Lancaster.
Patch: What are some of the challenges of being a new principal?
Lisa Leitholf: The hardest part is that I don't know the students yet. I'm accustomed to knowing the students by name, so learning 650-700 new names and faces and families can be overwhelming, but that's a fun part of the job. Everyone has been very welcoming, the PTO and staff have been wonderful and receptive. So it's been an easy transition.
Patch: Do you have any goals in the first few weeks of school?
Leitholf: My goals for the first few weeks are getting to know as many students and families as I can, and to establish relationships with the students and the staff. I need to learn from them—that's the most important thing.
Patch: What do you think of the area of Cape St. Claire?
Leitholf: I'm very excited to be coming to Cape St. Claire. It's a great area with a great reputation, not only for the academic achievement of the students, but the community is very involved and supportive. I've already met a lot of great people here and can't wait to meet more.
Patch: What are these final days before school starts like?
Leitholf: It's a very busy time of year to get things prepared for the school year. Having an experienced staff that have been here makes that first week of school easier for teachers. They know the routines and the kids, so it is busy, but I wouldn't call it frantic or hectic.
Patch: Several educators at CSCE retired at the end of the school year. How is the school handling that?
Leitholf: Certainly those teachers will be missed. Many of them had a longstanding career here at CSCE. We have hired new staff to take over those roles, and they are fitting in nicely. There were many who applied for the position, so we got to choose from a range of very qualified people.
School starts at Cape St. Claire Elementary School and all other elementary schools in Broadneck on Monday, with the exception of Broadneck Elementary, which is delayed for a day due to construction.