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Principal Last heads to Perry Hall

Mr. Andrew Last leaves Hereford High School after three years to continue his role as principal at Perry Hall High School.

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Mr. Andrew Last leaves Hereford High School after three years to continue his role as principal at Perry Hall High School.

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Educators commonly share the dream of leaving their mark on education, bonded by student-focused visions of improvement. Similarly, Principal Andrew Last’s time at Hereford High is marked with efforts towards improvement. He plans to continue his progress in education by pursuing a new principal position at Perry Hall High School for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year. “As a new principal, I learned about how important motivation and culture is in a school,” said Mr. Last. “It’s important for schools to introduce a variety of clubs and sports where kids have the ability to be part of something, because everyone has different interests.” “When I came to Hereford in 2011, I received a letter from one of the staff members that said ‘Welcome to your retirement school’ and I told him I don’t think it will be, because I don’t like to think like that. I don’t like to think that my first job would be my last. I always look for new challenges and it excites me,” said Mr. Last. “[Mr. Last’s leaving] is a shame. We would have been the first class he would have seen through graduation and he couldn’t stay,” said Sophie Seaman (11). Mr. Last applied for the new position at Perry Hall, the largest school in Baltimore County with 2,200 students. Mr. Last said Perry Hall presents many different types of challenges; the school is very diverse and the faculty is almost double the size of Hereford’s. “Many kids at Hereford are already motivated to go to college when they come [to school] because they come from a certain background. Some kids are told from a young age that they are going to college and there’s no question. But what happens when kids are not motivated and feel that they are forced to be at school? It presents a difficult challenge to make their life’s outcome better,” said Mr. Last. Mr. Last wants to mirror Hereford’s successful extracurricular programs at Perry Hall and to encourage teachers to supervise more clubs to give the kids a reason to enjoy school. “I like a school to offer a lot of different things, because everyone has different interests and they should be able to experience to find their interests,” said Mr. Last. “One of the changes I made at Hereford was to focus more on students who weren’t athletes. I had a lot of feedback from kids that said, even though I’m not an athlete, I found things I’m interested in. Athletics are so strong here; they didn’t need extra assistance,” he said. “I only knew him for one year, but he was an easy-going principal,” said Katie Anderson (9). No replacement has been announced. Baltimore County Public schools is holding interviews for the next principal. A meeting held on Thursday, June 5, was to ask student, parents, and teachers what sort of qualities they want in the new principal. “[Mr. Last has] always been a really nice guy and seems to care about the student, but I want to know who the new principal is already,” said Cori Beck (10). If he could impart some advice for his successor, Mr. Last said, “I’d tell [the new principal] what works here and what could be better. I would tell them about how good the kids are, even though they would recognize that quickly. I would tell them about how great the community is and about our unique agricultural program.” “Although I never got to know Mr. Last on a personal level, I hope he is successful and enjoyed his three years at Hereford,” said Maggie Guberlet (11).

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Principal Last heads to Perry Hall