Kenwood & Mars Estates Principals Nominated as Finalist

BCPS announces six finalists for 2020 Principals of the Year. Two of the six are school leaders from eastern Baltimore County.

“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 of all of the nominees. “Our students and staff have continuously turned to them for guidance, especially during these unexpected recent challenges.”

Kelly O’Connell is one of the three principals in the Elementary nominees. She is her fourth year as principal at Mars Estates Elementary 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. Jane Martin of Pot Spring Elementary and Brian Williams of Baltimore Highlands are the other two elementary nominees.

Kenwood principal Brian Powell is in his fourth year as the principal at the Essex 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.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve our terrific Kenwood community! I’m grateful to be considered in this category considering all of the outstanding principals in BCPS. I consider this as great recognition for our entire Kenwood school community, our staff, and our students,” Powell told East Baltco News on Friday evening.

“Congratulations to my elementary colleague, Kelly O’Connell for her nomination and excellent support of our community as well!”

Kalisha Miller of Pikesville Middle and Rochelle Archelus of Woodlawn Middle are the other two Secondary nominees.

In 2019, Charlene Behnke of Honeygo Elementary School was named the Elementary School winner Monica Sample of Overlea High School was named the best principal for Secondary Schools.

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 later this month.