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JMB Parent Message

Good evening, James M. Bennett High School parents and staff.

This is Dr. Donna Hanlin, Superintendent of Schools.  I am calling with an update on JMB to share with you how the school system is continuing its work to support students and staff at the school during these very challenging times. 

As noted in previous statements, legal matters related to James M. Bennett High continue to be in the hands of the States Attorney’s Office, law enforcement, and the Department of Social Services.  There are clear legal restrictions on communications with and from the school system and the Board of Education.  Those restrictions continue with the ongoing investigation, and we cannot interfere with the work of those outside entities.

While the timeframe for resolution of these matters has exceeded what was originally anticipated, we have continued to be on site with support. We have listened to your voices and those of students as we have worked together to ensure that JMB is operating smoothly.

With that in mind and the fact that these matters are not yet resolved, we are taking additional measures to support your school, and I want to share those with you this evening.

Mrs. Erin Nathan, who has been serving as Assistant Principal and administrator in charge for these past number of weeks, has now been named Acting Principal.  Mrs. Nathan has ensured that all proper safety protocols are in place at JMB. We have the utmost confidence in her leadership, and are confident that with the support of her staff she will carry out her new role of principal with caring, compassion, and, most importantly, the full authority to lead JMB as its top administrator. 

To fill her spot as an assistant principal, we are pleased to share that Mrs. Vera Reed, an experienced assistant principal at Bennett Middle School, will be moving to JMB for the remainder of this school year, beginning on Friday.  The Bennett Middle administrative team will be supported through the reassignment of Mr. Dorsey Cook as Acting Dean of Students.

Mr. Keith Bailey will continue in his role as Assistant Principal, Mr. Jason Capobianco will continue in his role as Dean of Students, and Mr. Brent Lewis will continue in his role as Acting Dean of Students.  Central Office administrators will continue to assist in various roles based upon the needs articulated by the staff and administration of the school.  Retired administrator Mr. Ike Humphrey is also on site to assist, and experienced counselors have returned to support the guidance office during this time.  A full-time social worker is also available for students, and school psychologists are on call as needed.

Mr. Micah Stauffer, Director of Secondary Education and a former Parkside High and Mardela Middle and High principal, as well as Dr. Rick Briggs, Assistant Superintendent - Chief Academic Officer and former principal at JMB, Mardela Middle and High, and Bennett Middle, work together to be in the school on a regular basis and provide me with daily updates. 

Our JMB students and staff are truly resilient, and they are truly excellent.  The Board and I thank you for your ongoing support. It is through the ongoing encouragement of parents and the JMB community that the Clipper Ship will remain JMB strong.