Former Principal Dr. Munk Climbs the Ranks, Misses Her Ram-ily

Constant driving. Teaching, discussing, talking, designing. Eight different schools. Constant meetings with different staff and principals. This is the life of former RHS principal Dr. Debra Munk.

Dr. Munk left RHS in the spring of 2013 for a job as a consulting principal for new elementary and middle school principals and then at the end of 2014, came into her role as an advising principal. Her official job title is Director of High Schools in the Office of School Support and Improvement. This requires her to be an adviser for eight high schools in the county.

“I start my day at the office, and then I spend most of my time traveling to and from the different schools, where I meet with the principals and staff. It’s definitely a lot of driving,” Dr. Munk said.

Dr. Munk’s office is in the Board of Education building on Hungerford Drive, where she also teaches a Wednesday afternoon class instructing princi pals on the proper methods for assisting underperforming teachers.

“It really speaks to what I believe in terms of teaching. I think that what ever technology you use, whatever you add on top, simple good teaching is at the core of education. Teachers have different problems. Sometimes they aren’t good at presenting information’they don’t speak well. Sometimes they don’t present information chronologically. Sometimes they don’t provide enough classroom interaction, and students get bored. This class helps with that,” Dr. Munk said.

Dr. Munk certainly has a reputation for raising teaching standards. When she first arrived at RHS in 2005, the school was not performing at a very high academic level. Dr. Munk brought in programs such as IB, Project Lead the Way and AVID, and the number of Hispanic and African-American students passing the HSAs doubled in her time at RHS. Her success led to the county’s requests to bring her up to the level of consulting principal.

“I thought it was time. I had been in the job for so longa��almost ten years, and I thought that the school needed someone new. I wanted RHS to continue growing. I didn’t want it to plateau,” Dr. Munk said.

Though Dr. Munk has mostly kept away from RHS in an effort to allow Principal Billie-Jean Bensen to fully take charge and not feel shadowed, she has visited the school a couple of times, and students have seen her around.

“I saw her walking in the office because I had a meeting with Ms. Bensen, and she was smiling really big and seemed really happy. She also seemed very nostalgic. The secretaries were having lunch with her in a conference room,” senior Maria Melgar said.

Despite the higher level of authority that comes with her current job, Dr. Munk said that she misses being principal of RHS, and that she continues to check up on the school by keeping track of students’ scores and celebrating their achievements.

“I will never have a job that I love as much as being principal at Rock ville. a�� To all of you guys at Rockville, keep doing what you’re doing. Continue working hard and doing your best to get the best education that you can,” Dr. Munk said.