The below was sent to the Oakland Mills community from Oakland Mills Highh School Principal Frank Eastham on June 27:
Dear Parents and Community Members,
Tonight, the Howard County Board of Education promoted me to the position of Executive Director of School Administration and School Improvement, effective July 1, 2013. In this position, I will have the opportunity to support all 72 schools in our system.
As a member of the community for 25 years, serving as Assistant Principal for three years and Principal for the last nine years, it is with both sadness and excitement that I share this news. The number of parents, students, business owners, community organization leaders, and faith leaders who have been by my side helping me to guide the work of our school has been too significant to count or properly acknowledge in a personal way. I would not be who I am today without the powerful influence of this entire community.
When I arrived at Oakland Mills in 2004, we began the process of developing our plan to guide the work of our school. Since then, I have been blessed to watch our school and community instilling pride, respect, responsibility, and integrity in this diverse community of students who have already begun to impact the world in transformational ways. The evidence of this can be seen on the wall in my office where pictures hang of over 2500 students who have graduated in my nine years as principal. I am confident that our community is empowered to continue our journey to ensure that each student who leaves our school is prepared to compete, contribute, and adapt in our community, our culture, and our world.
The newly appointed principal, Mr. Karim Shortridge, is coming to us from Washington County Public Schools where he most recently served as principal of Smithsburg High School. He is an exceptional leader who will continue to steer Oakland Mills on the path to excellence.
I am truly grateful to everyone in the Oakland Mills community who has helped me grow personally and professionally, and prepared me for this next step in my journey. Thank you Oakland Mills! I will always remember there’s no place like hOMe.
Frank V. Eastham Jr.
It's sad to see Mr. Eastham go. I know people have varing opinions about anyone based on who you ask, but he has been principal at OMHS for all five years of my kids' combined experience at OMHS and in my view, he and his assistants have done a wonderful job.
I understand that he has turned down promotions in the past in order to stay at OMHS. He walks the walk and talks the talk in terms of caring about OM; he lives literally across the street from OMHS. and he still has a child of high school age, so he won't be totally dissociated from the OM community.
As a parent, blogger, and as Howard County's resident local icon, I wish Mr. Eastham well. This is truly a case of OM's loss being the county's gain. And looking forward to seeing what Mr. Shortridge brings to the community.