The newly named Dunwoody High School principal, Noel Maloof, was unpacking boxes last week and getting settled in his new job, but as he put it, “It’s more of a homecoming than a new assignment.” Maloof is returning to the high school where he previously served as assistant principal, and returns with the valuable experience and lessons he learned as principal at Vanderlyn Elementary.
“At Vanderlyn we set out on a mission,” Maloof said in an interview. “Having been at the high school level, we knew it was important to build a strong foundation.” Maloof implemented a literacy program both to prepare students for more challenging classes and to make sure no one fell through the cracks.
“That worked really well for us so then we put the same emphasis on math,” said Maloof, adding that the efforts paid off when Vanderlyn was named a 2011 Georgia School of Excellence in Academic Achievement, which is only awarded to 13 schools in the state that have placed in the top 10 percent in reading and math scores.
Maloof has similar plans to move Dunwoody High School to the next level of achievement.
“Dunwoody has a lot of great things going on. The staff is excellent. It is already an academic and athletic powerhouse. We want to continue that excellence but also keep moving towards having all our kids graduate and go on to postsecondary options,” explained Maloof.
Maloof agreed that in this time of budget constraints, more students per classroom, more furlough days, his challenge is to do more with less. He said his first goal is to concentrate on teacher quality and teacher development by making faculty meeting time more productive.
“It’s finding the expertise you already have in the building, and tapping into it. It’s building collaborative time for teachers to work together, and building time for the entire staff to work on common goals.”
Maloof said he is confident DHS can reach the next level of success because of the strong support in the community.
“The great thing is I have a lot of ties in the community and I can reach out to that support,” said Maloof. “The key is the community support and we have a ton of that.