Administration strong as ever despite turnover

Christina Rice poses for photo.

School website

Christina Rice poses for photo.

In a year of chaos, the school’s administration team has also experienced as well. While 12th grade administrator Jane Cocker took medical leave, interim administrator Christy Rice stepped in. Nick Hitchens, former English resource teacher, is also a temporary administrator for the 10th grade. Ninth grade administrator Brad Rohner is a permanent hire and will be a warm presence at the school for many years to come, students hope. Only 11th grade administrator Joe Mamana returns from last year.

Rohner started his teaching career in New Jersey. “I worked in the social studies department, teaching courses like US History and World Cultures, but I wanted to have a bigger impact on my students,” Rohner said.

He then came to Maryland, working at Rockville for 10 years and spending six years there as an administrator. “I enjoyed my time at Rockville. Being an administrator allowed me to have more input on decisions,” Rohner said.

Rohner has already started to become part of the school’s team. “Over the summer, I began working with the administrative team, and they are a joy to work with. I think the Wootton community is a special place,” Rohner said.

Rice knows what it’s like taking on additional work outside her teaching duties, having served as graduation coordinator the past couple of years. “In the spring, I completed my certification to become an administrator, and this past year, I had an internship with Principal Kimberly Boldon. I was able to sit in on meetings and learn how the school works. It was really interesting seeing how ideas become action,” Rice said.

Rice became an administrator on Aug. 1 and served as until Cocker came back on Sept. 21. “I have enjoyed my time as an administrator, and I am excited I will get to go back to teaching this year. I really felt like I have experienced the best of both worlds with being a teacher and administrator,” Rice said.

She found rewarding parts of being an administrator. “I have loved working on school-wide projects that benefit everybody, and contributing to decision making,” Rice said.

The most challenging part for Rice was the different responsibilities. “I would say the hardest part of being an administrator was the work, and also the unknowns about how online school will work. We will have to deal with technology, and some days, it won’t work,” Rice said

Hitchens shared similar viewpoints to Rice. “I really enjoy getting to see how the school works, as I felt like I learned how objectives were accomplished and understand how the machine worked and how the different parts operated,” Hitchens said.

The most challenging part for Hitchens was also the workload. “It has definitely been an adjustment, as the workload is significantly higher as an administrator. I am learning to balance it with family time, and make sure I do not spend too much time on work,” Hitchens said.

What Hitchens does love, however, is the connection he makes to his hometown.“I previously attended Frost and Wootton as a kid, and I definitely think this Wootton community is very special. I think I can help the Wootton community in a greater capacity,” Hitchens said.