Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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July 23, 2008

Short leaves Blair for Lackey

by Poorna Natarajan, Online Staff Writer
Assistant Principal James Short left Blair to take duties as acting principal of Henry E. Lackey High School, his alma mater, on July 7. The Charles County Board of Education approved Short as acting principal on July 4.

Short returned to Charles County, where he started his teaching career in 1987 at Thomas Stone High School. He left Charles in 1995, when he joined the Blair community. At Blair, Short started as a special education teacher and was later promoted to assistant principal in 2004. He also was the principal of the evening and Saturday school for Montgomery County public schools.
Assistant Principal James Short returns to Henry E. Lackey High School as acting principal. <i>Photo courtesy of  Southern Maryland Newspapers Online.</i>
Assistant Principal James Short returns to Henry E. Lackey High School as acting principal. Photo courtesy of Southern Maryland Newspapers Online.

With the support of Principal Darryl Williams and Community Superintendent Heath Morrison, Short applied for the principal position at Lackey last spring.

Williams found a replacement for Short for next year. "Edith Verdejo will be replacing Short as principal. She was selected from a pool of potential candidates," he said. "I have also worked with her at Gaithersburg HS and know her abilities."

Short wanted to advance his career, be closer to his residence at Waldorf and work in the high school he once attended. "But the main reason was that I wanted to grow and do better and better. I wanted to come back to the school that I once attended; I was lucky that the position came available at Lackey," Short said. "Everybody has a dream job, and this has always been my dream job."

When Short entered Lackey, he felt reminiscent of his high school years. "It took my breath away when I first entered as principal. It brought back a lot of memories I had of my friends at Lackey. We really pushed each other athletically and academically," Short said.

After high school, Short attained a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Richmond, teacher certification from Trinity College and a master's degree from Bowie State University.

He said he owes his academic success to his coaches and teachers at Lackey. "I had outstanding teachers who prepared me academically for college. My football and basketball coachers were also outstanding. They really pushed me and encouraged me to go to college," Short said.

Drawing inspiration from his instructors, Short wishes to ready his students well for their future endeavors as principal at Lackey. "I want to do the same for my students as my teacher did. I want Lackey to prepare them an academic foundation for college. I also want to see outstanding young citizens coming out of Lackey high school," said Short.

As an educator, Short said he hopes to discover creativity among the Lackey students as he saw in Blair. "I first want to learn about my students at Lackey," Short said. "I love the beauty of [Silver Chips] and Blair's ability to expand students' creativity. I want to see the same in Lackey and see such level of creativity."

Using both Williams and Blair's ex-principal Phillip Gainous as examples, Short feels prepared and confident as principal. "I loved working with two outstanding principals - Mr. Gainous and Mr. Williams - who have added to my preparation as principal. They always put my career first," Short said.

Short cherishes his memories from the past 13 years at Blair. He loves Blair for its wide variety of students and teachers. "I like Blair for its diversity. But the hardest part of leaving Blair is missing the interactions I had with outstanding, professional and well-educated faculty," Short said. "The people were ready to collaborate with each other."

Williams expressed his best wishes for Short in his future at Lackey. "I will absolutely miss him in the following year," Williams said. "We still plan to keep in contact with each other."

Finishing his chapter at Blair, Short wishes to convey the following message to the Blair students and staff: "Thank you. Thank you for the memories, and everything truly made me a better person and a better educator."

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  • Dana Simel (View Email) on August 2, 2008 at 4:23 PM
    You will be missed greatly, Jimmy!

    Dana Simel
  • David on August 22, 2008 at 6:34 PM
    Mr. Short is a great guy
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