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Savell and Janowich Receive Rita Board Dowd Award for Outstanding Carroll County School Administrator

Release Date: 4/30/2010 8:11:09 AM

Virginia Savell, principal of Mt. Airy Middle School, and Julia Janowich, assistant principal of Francis Scott Key High School, have been named as the first recipients of the Rita Board Dowd Award for Outstanding Carroll County School Administrator.
This award is given annually to two school administrators – one principal and one assistant principal (K-12) – awarded independently. The goal of the award is to recognize exceptional educational leadership in serving Carroll County Public Schools and its students.
Virginia Savell has 37 ½ years in the field of education. Prior to becoming principal of Mt. Airy Middle School in 1996, she was assistant principal of East Middle School, a teacher at Sykesville Middle School, a science assistant at Franklin Middle School in Reisterstown and a teacher at Dumbarton Junior High School in Towson.
Savell is recognized as an educator who has fostered a great school where students and teachers work together to create learning. As an example, from 2006 through last year’s testing, students at Mt. Airy Middle School have achieved proficient and advanced levels at higher rates than Carroll County and Maryland scores. She is known by her staff as being self-motivated, strongly collaborative, and well-informed about standards and methods that will benefit students. Savell is well known by parents and community members for her abilities to listen well, empower others, and take positive action. Students learn empathy and compassion as they see her willingness to support families in dire circumstances, as well as her encouragement of clothing and food drives, projects for soldiers, and children in hospitals.
Julia Janowich has 18 years in the field of education. Prior to becoming assistant principal at Francis Scott Key High School in 2006, she held the positions of academic facilitator, biology department chair, biology teacher, and science and math teacher at FSK. She began her career as a long-term substitute at South Carroll High School.
Janowich is known for always placing her students first. She works tirelessly to help students navigate through very difficult waters, and she does this by respecting the student, learning about the student, understanding their needs and fears, and providing a supportive and caring environment. She believes that one must learn other ways to teach and administrate. As an example, she volunteered to chair the Flex Mod Interest Group at FSK and strongly believes that this initiative will benefit students at all levels. She is also actively involved in the School Improvement Team and the Regional Team. Janowich believes in supporting all extra-curricular activities and understands as an administrator that it is as important to support students’ other interests, as well as their academics. She is the ultimate team player and someone both teachers and students know they can come to for assistance.
The Rita Board Dowd Award for Outstanding Carroll County School Administrator has been created in memory of Rita Board Dowd, who passed away in May 2009. Dowd taught biology and science at North Carroll High School from 1997 to 2002. She was a member of the faculty that opened Winters Mill High School in 2002 and taught biology until her appointment as assistant principal in 2006.
Any full-time elementary, middle, high school, career and technology, or alternative program principal or assistant principal in the Carroll County Public School System may be nominated for this award. Any student, administrator, teacher, parent, faculty and staff member, or other individual may nominate someone they feel deserves consideration for the award.
The selection committee is composed of a member of Rita Board Dowd’s family, the previous year’s winners (after the initial year), school directors, and the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. This award will be presented during the Board of Education’s spring employee recognition ceremony.

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