The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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June 19, 2024

Principal Robert Dodd appointed to BOE Office of School Support and Well-Being

Ava Ohana

The Montgomery County Board of Education appointed Whitman principal Dr. Robert Dodd as a director in the Office of School Support and Well-Being (OSSWB), May 23. His new role will take effect July 1. 

The OSSWB provides support for students in Montgomery County to encourage academic excellence through expert learning, programs and services. 

Jewel Sanders, a current director in the OSSWB, sent out an email announcing Dodd’s new position in MCPS.

“He is a highly-skilled, data-driven leader who is constantly present at school activities to support Whitman’s talented students,” Sanders said. “For the past six years, Dr. Dodd has established strong relationships with students, staff and families.”

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Rachel Roscow, a Whitman parent and Co-President of the Whitman Education Foundation, said Dodd has been an advocate of the foundation and has had a tremendous impact on the community.

“I think he really cares about the mental health of students, and I know he cares a lot about diversity and equity,” Roscow said. “He makes every student at Whitman feel like they belong and that they’re heard.” 

When Dodd first joined Whitman, his three main goals were to create equity for all students, build student-teacher relationships and improve students’ psycho-social development when handling stress.

One of Dodd’s key achievements was the establishment of the Leadership Academy for Social Justice (LASJ) program, which promotes diversity and inclusion at Whitman.

Junior Cece Kux is happy Dodd brought LASJ to Whitman because she believes it’s creating positive change in the community. 

“The LASJ program has done a lot of really important work and aims to do a lot more,” Kux said. “You really feel as though you are capable of making a change.”

MCPS is currently searching for Dodd’s replacement. Sanders will organize meetings with stakeholders to gather feedback on the most valued leadership characteristics for the new principal. MCPS will also seek input from students, school staff and community members through surveys.

Sanders visited Whitman May 29 to discuss the process of filling this role. She explained that candidates who may be eligible to apply for this position include current intern principals, MCPS principals, acting principals, principals outside of MCPS and assistant principals. The interview panel will consist of parents, staff members, central office staff and students. 

Student Government Association leader Michele Traficante is sad to see Dodd leave after all he has contributed to Whitman.

“He’s been a presence here for the last six years, and when you walk into the office, he’s there smiling,” Trafficante said. “He has led us through the difficult times of COVID, and I think everybody will always remember his leadership at that time.”

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Ava Ohana
Ava Ohana, Photographer
Grade 12 Why did you join The B&W? To share my love of photography with others :) If you were a candle, what scent would you be? Vanilla lime

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