Hyattsville Middle Principal Leaving Post After One Year

Principal Susie Long is leaving PGCPS to pursue work with her church.

After 33 years working in the Prince George's County School system,

At the end of the school year, Long will retire from PGCPS to work with young men and women at her church.

"This school year has been an absolute joy and exciting challenge for me as a new principal," Long stated in a letter dated May 6 to the school's PTA . "Helping to develop a culture of academic and creative excellence cannot be done without a wonderful staff, energetic, stimulating and complex teenagers, and a great and supportive PTA.

"Although, we have not completed and achieved all of our goals, we have certainly seen the progression toward excellence."

Long started her work at HMS just last year, as a first-time principal. Controversy over a principal appointed to the school last year led to his reassignment. Principal Gail Golden retired before that.

"I've done everything from being a specialist to teaching to working as a paraprofessional," the Shreveport, La., native told Patch then. "Coming back to the school building made sense to me because I had all of this knowledge in all of these areas, but I wanted the opportunity to see how I could [share that with teachers and students]."

Long earned a masters degree in school administration and supervision in 1997 and then her education doctorate in special education and student preparation in 2007 from George Washington University.

During the past year, Long stated in her letter, the school has tried to address issues that have prevented the school from meeting Adequate Yearly Progress. The staff has received professional development for improving instructional practices and strategies for meeting the specific needs of our most struggling students, the letter states.

She gives most credit, however, to the students. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. HMS students have won theScience Bowl Championship;
  2. Creative Writing students placed first, second and third in the county-wide Write-A-Book competition;
  3. Students won first, second, third and fourth place in the Martin Luther King Essay Contest;
  4. Students won first and third place in the Destination Imagination competition;
  5. CPA Orchestra received all superiors for their outstanding performance at the Orchestra Festival;
  6. CPA Band and Wind Ensemble received an Excellent Performance Rating for their performance at the Prince George's County Festival;
  7. CPA students also won the Chorus, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Band competitions in Atlanta April 29-30; and
  8. CPA Chorus all returned with Superior ratings for their performance at the State on May 6, 2011.

"I am so proud of our children, teachers, counselors, support staff, CPA coordinator, and the administrators who served so closely with me this year," Long stated in her letter to the PTA. "I am honored to have known you all and experienced what it means to be a true principal. 

"There will always be a place in my heart for Hyattsville Middle and what this community has contributed to my life as a professional.

Jennifer Mendenhall/Michael Kramer May 09, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Who will the new principal be?
Sarah Nemeth May 09, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Hi Jennifer/Michael, Not sure that has been determined yet. I have a call out to get more intel. I'll pass it along as soon as I know! Sarah
Rebecca Gitter May 09, 2011 at 08:06 PM
We knew at the end of last school year that Ms. Golden was leaving but didn't get notification about Dr. Long until late into the summer - maybe even early August. She had no experience as a principal - and as a parent there I can tell you, it was obvious - some might say she was a bit over her head. Hope the appoint someone with lots of experience as a principal - who knows how to works with parents, kids, teachers and the County. Its a tough job - best of luck to whomever takes it on!
M. Hermanson May 10, 2011 at 07:47 AM
Regarding who will replace Dr Long: The county will select up to six candidates from their pool of applicants for middle school principal positions. Representatives from the PTA and teachers interview and rank the candidates. The candidates also rank their preferences between schools where they are applying. Hopefully there's a match between who the parents and teachers like and who wants to be at HMS. The process, once started, takes about a month. Regarding Dr. Long's inexperience as a principal: If I remember correctly, when UPES and HMS went through this process half of the candidates were coming out of their "principal training academy" and had no experience as a principal.


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