John Baugher, principal at Westminster High School, and Christina Dougherty, assistant principal at Francis Scott Key High School, have been named as the recipients of the Rita Board Dowd Awards for Outstanding Carroll County School Administrators.

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.

John Baugher is a 28-year veteran of Carroll County Public Schools. He was a social studies teacher at Francis Scott Key High School from 1991-2005 and assistant principal at Winters Mill High School from 2005-2009. He became principal at Francis Scott Key High School in 2009, where he served until being named principal at Westminster High School in 2017.

Baugher was described by his nominator as “having one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen in an administrator.” In his first year as principal at Westminster High School, he has improved the culture and heart of the school and excelled in teamwork and communication with staff. He creates an environment that engenders others to perform at their very best and is very supportive of students and staff. In terms of school policy, Baugher has created an administration that works together and applies consequences across the board equally and supports teachers in the decisions they make in their individual classrooms.

Christina Dougherty has 19 years in the field of education, all of which have been in Carroll County Public Schools. She was a social studies teacher at Westminster High School from 1999-2005, where she served as Class advisor for four years and SGA Advisor for two years. She also was a Curriculum Trainer at the Teachers Curriculum Institute in Washington, D.C. in 2004. She served as assistant principal at Westminster and Manchester Valley High Schools before becoming assistant principal at Francis Scott Key High School in 2014.

Dougherty ensures that each student has the best possible chance for success in their learning by working with teachers and parents to recognize practices that maximize student performance. She also “outrivals anyone else” when providing opportunities for colleagues to increase their experience and hone their craft. Dougherty builds and maintains a positive team environment and models exemplary communication, and her support of collaboration and teamwork is evident in her daily interactions with staff and students. She also has been described as a “guardian angel” who has the best interest of students and their families at heart.

The Rita Board Dowd Award for Outstanding Carroll County School Administrators was created in 2010 in memory of Rita Board Dowd. 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, school directors, and the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. These awards were presented during the Board of Education’s employee recognition ceremony on Thursday, April 26, 2018.




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