Principal Sharon Whitlock had no plans of leaving Chase Elementary School anytime soon.
After all, the Cockeysville resident and 25-year veteran of the Baltimore County Public Schools system had spent 14 years at Chase, including the last 11 as principal. However, Whitlock’s career path took an unexpected turn this week when the school system informed her that she would be transferred to Mars Estates Elementary School, beginning July 1.
Whitlock’s transfer comes after current Mars Estates principal, Linda Chapin, announced her intention to retire. Current Dundalk Elementary School assistant principal Douglas C. Elmandorf will replace Whitlock at Chase.
“It all happened so sudden so I’m not sure what to think right now,” Whitlock said. “The school system told me I was needed at Mars Estates, so I’m flattered that they think highly of my skills as a principal. At the same time, it is so hard to have to say good bye to a community I love.”
Whitlock said Chase and Mars Estates have very similar student demographics, as both are Title I schools with a large special education population. She added that she has dedicated much of her career to improving educational opportunities for special education students, and is looking forward to having the opportunity to do that at Mars Estates.
In addition to her time at Chase, Whitlock has also served as an educator at Middleborough, Deep Creek, Sandalwood and Hawthorne elementary schools. She said that background would also assist her in the transition.
“I’m a southeast Baltimore County girl when it comes to teaching,” Whitlock said. “I’ve been all around the Essex-Middle River area, so I feel like the transition will be smooth and I’m confident that Mr. Elmandorf will do well in my place.”
Whitlock and Elmandorf’s transfers represent just two of a series throughout Essex-Middle River. Among the other announced school administrator changes for the next school year are:
- Supervisor, secondary English for the Office of Language Arts Peter W. Taylor is promoted to assistant principal at Kenwood High School for Kenneth P. Miller, who was named principal at Lansdowne High.
- Deep Creek Elementary assistant principal Sharon Mason is promoted to principal at Deep Creek.
- Edmondson Heights Elementary School assistant principal Lori A. Phelps will take over as assistant principal at Deep Creek Elementary.
- Glenmar Elementary assistant principal Michael A. Parker will take over as principal of the school for Susan Wilken, who is retiring.
- Sparrows Point Middle School assistant principal Dawn L. Pinamonti will take over as principal at Deep Creek Middle School for Anthony Popowitz, who resigned.