Staff Take On More Roles

Two student achievement programs have a new coordinator: AP Language and Composition teacher and yearbook adviser Ambereen Khan-Baker. These programs offer help for students to succeed in the college process.

The Pre-ACES (Achieving College Excellence and Success) program is for underclassmen only and teaches students how to use Naviance, a college planning website. It also guides students on the path to choosing a career. Pre-ACES is only offered through MCPS, University of Shady Grove and Montgomery College.

AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) is a national student-profile class with a curriculum. “I’m really passionate about what AVID can do for students,” Khan-Baker said. “There is the curriculum, and the amount of inquiry; there is so much there that will really help students at being successful, so it’ll be fun in addition to teaching [English],” Khan-Baker said.

Assistant Principal Galit Zolkower said, “Mr. Adama [former AVID coordinator] was interested in a change and wanted to return to teaching social studies classes. That required us to look for a new AVID coordinator.” Khan-Baker was selected and went to a training session in July with many RHS teachers.

Khan-Baker is also looking forward to working with teachers from various content areas whom she normally would not interact with as much, or at all. She is enthusiastic about taking over these programs in addition to teaching.

“There are challenges, but they’re worth it for the students,” Khan-Baker said. In addition to Pre-ACES, AVID and AP Language, Khan-Baker also teaches the yearbook class.

Attendance secretary Mary Norfolk has also taken on a new role: SSL coordinator. Norfolk must now record, file and keep track of the hours that students volunteer. She also assists students in finding volunteer work and encourages them to achieve a purple tassel at graduation for volunteering for 290 or more hours.

“I do not consider this new role a strain for me at all. Being the smallest school in the county, attendance is something I am able to handle along with the SSL work I have to do,” Norfolk said. “I feel that I know the students well and, therefore, can assist them not only with their attendance issues but a�� in obtaining SSL hours in order to graduate.”

Although Norfolk is not finding this additional role to be a challenge, she does have many more responsibilities. “Not only am I keeping up with attendance issues [signing students in, writing passes and filing notes], I am also documenting SSL hours, emailing students that I have posted those hours and filing the papers they have turned in. But I enjoy it all,” Norfolk said.

With two different job descriptions, both Khan-Baker and Norfolk have fast-paced schedules, and get to interact more with students in their new positions.