Georgina Aye focuses on creating 21st century leaders
For many students living in Baltimore County, new school supplies, uniforms and shoes are the norm, however this year Woodlawn High School students will have one more new thing— a principal.
Georgina Aye (pronounced “A”) is the new principal at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County. On Monday, August 22, 2016, while standing at the entrance of the building, she welcomed 420 freshmen to their first day of high school.
“We’re going to work together to create 21st century leaders who are engaged in rigorous coursework and believe we have a civic duty to make our Woodlawn community a great place to live and go to school,” Aye said.
Aye believes that all students can succeed and will stop at nothing to provide equitable opportunities for student success. In spite of the negative comments the school’s reputation has endured over the years, Principal Aye and the administration are poised to make favorable changes by increasing graduation rates, college readiness and student attendance.
The new administration includes: ninth grade academy Assistant Principal James Gordon; tenth grade Assistant Principal Phil Popielski; eleventh grade Assistant Principal Jamel Jernigan and twelfth grade Assistant Principal Kelly Barr. Their goal is to prepare students to embrace a culture of excellence while focusing on the school’s motto, “Enter to Learn, Leave to Achieve.”
According to Aye, the teachers and the administration are commissioned to prepare students to leave Woodlawn High School ready for college or a career in a desired profession.
During back-to-school night, nearly 50 parents and guardians attended the “Meet and Greet” on August 18, 2016. Aye introduced new staff and highlighted the implementation of a new webinar for parents to increase communication and share class assignments, projects and school activities.
Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) President Ricardo Ramsey invited parents to join the organization and to become active members as well. It was emphasized that a successful partnership consisted of constant communication between the school and home. Parents were encouraged to continue to be supportive and remain optimistic for a successful school year.
“She [Principal Aye] seems like she’s grounded and will make some positive changes in the school,” said Dee White who has a son attending the school. “The things I’ve heard today, I pray will override the negative things that have happened in the past.”
Devita Porter, the parent of a 10th grader, is optimistic about the implementation of the new ideas and addressing safety issues that had once plagued the school in the past.
“I’m excited for the future generation,” Porter said. I’m not trying to give up hope now.”
Aye is a former advertising executive and television commercial producer. She decided to change careers and fulfill her desire to empower students. She believes that her advertising background has helped in selling ideas and creative concepts to high school students in Baltimore.
“The goal is to get the students to “buy-in” to the reality that academic excellence is possible,” she said.
“There is always a right time to ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to making education exciting for students and adults,” said Aye. “Investing in a growth mindset with all stakeholders will have high impact results for the students, the school, and the community.”
Over the years, Aye has served in several educational capacities in the Baltimore City Public School System including as an English teacher, instructional coach, professional development coordinator and an administrator. She is experienced in a myriad of programs including CTE (career and technical education) and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Aye is experienced on how to increase AP (advance placement) opportunities as well.
As an alumna of West Virginia University, she obtained advanced graduate degrees from Marshall University and John Hopkins University. Currently, she is in a doctoral program at University of Chicago, Concordia with a concentration in curriculum and instruction.
Having completed research about the high school prior to becoming the principal, Aye commented that students and teachers are excelling in many areas. The administration’s mission is to dispel the myth and enhance the school’s image. She noted there will be opportunities for members of the community to visit the school and learn more about the students’ achievements.
For more information about Woodlawn High School, visit: www.woodlawnhs.bcps.org.