The Poolesville Pulse

PHS welcomes new Heads of Houses

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Poolesville High School has had multiple administration changes recently, particularly the new Heads of House of the Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Program (SMCS), Independent Studies Program (ISP), and Humanities House.

New SMCS Head of House Kevin Lee attended Magruder High School in Maryland before graduating at Clemson University Bachelor of Arts in education. Prior to becoming Head of House of the SMCS program, Lee taught engineering and design classes as part of the SMCS curriculum. As a prominent part of the SMCS staff prior to being appointed, he felt it was a natural progression to become Head of House.

Before assuming the Head of House position, Lee explains that “[he] grew to understand how much I cared about [the program and students]”. Now, as the  Head of House, he feels that he can spend even more time with students.

Lee plans to implement a new SMCS Mentor/Mentee Cup program, a friendly competition aimed to encourage camaraderie through activities for mentors and mentees to do together. Future changes to the program include more overnight field trips, particularly for juniors and seniors, as well as other team-building efforts.

“There’s always been a competitive feel in SMCS, and I want people to feel like they can help each other,” Lee explained.

Lisa Hawkins is the new Head of House of the Independent Studies Program. Hawkins has already been deeply involved in the ISP program as a class advisor and English teacher. Hawkins explains that it was a “natural progression to become a part of the vision for the ISP House.”

Hawkins looks forward to “having the opportunity to meet with seniors and see their enthusiasm for their senior projects…to learn the diverse scope of the topics they are pursuing, helps me see them in a different light.”

As Head of House, one of her main responsibilities is to meet with ISP students to discuss their senior project, and work with them to help them successfully complete their projects. “They can choose to work with another adult with more knowledge in the field or work with me,” Hawkins elaborated.

In the future, Hawkins plans to organize field trips across multiple disciplines and hold field trips for each grade level, as well as one open for all grades. She feels that there are many opportunities in this area for students, and would like to take advantage of those opportunities.

Before becoming new Head of House of Humanities at Poolesville, Jennifer Marks taught  English in multiple Montgomery County Public Schools, including Watkins Mill High School, Richard Montgomery High School, Winston Churchill High School, and Roberto Clemente Middle School. She taught English courses for the International Baccalaureate program and middle school Humanities magnet program. Having previously taught magnet Humanities students at the middle school level, she has felt this was a natural step in her teaching career.

“[There are] special opportunities we could add to enhance what was already in place, [ensuring] what’s being taught in ninth grade makes sense with what is taught in eighth grade…we call it articulation.” Marks described some of the opportunities already in place in the Humanities program, such as the curation of artifacts by Humanities 11th graders as part of an interdisciplinary effort between the Art History and Modern World History classes and hopes to further create new interdisciplinary experiences in the program.

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The student run newspaper of Poolesville High School
PHS welcomes new Heads of Houses