August 9, 2023 — Superintendent John A. Serrano announced the selection of Jessica Willoughby as the Career and Technical Education Department Principal for Frederick campus.
Jessica's expertise, drawn from her profound knowledge and experience as both a classroom teacher and a school administrator, stood out during the interview process. Her genuine passion for Career and Technical Education, bilingual pedagogy, as well as transformative, culturally responsive leadership, was evident throughout. It is these exceptional qualities that we have solidified her selection for this important role.
Jessica's journey as an educator began at MSD in 2014, where she taught English & Digital ASL Literature, Multimedia & Orioles News, and Performing Arts for two years. This teaching experience solidified her expertise and knowledge in the realm of Career and Technical Education. She then transitioned to the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, where she spent two years in the classroom as a high school English teacher before assuming the role of Coordinator of Instructional Support for an additional two years.
In this capacity, she emerged as one of the first instructional team leaders at the Clerc Center, embracing the shared leadership model. In this role, she collaborated closely with the leadership team, ensuring comprehensive oversight of teacher observations and effective coordination of staff development activities. Her involvement extended to contributing to data-informed decisions, offering support, and providing recommendations for school-wide assessment, strategic planning goals, and school accreditation.
Before her return to MSD in January 2023 as the Data and Assessment Coordinator, Jessica served as the Program Coordinator for the Deaf Education Graduate program at McDaniel College. In this capacity, she provided operational oversight of the graduate program, managing the implementation and evaluation of course sequences and curricula, overseeing the hiring and supervision of instructors and staff, and providing academic advising to students. During this period, she fostered a strong working relationship with the Maryland Department of Education (MSDE), which proved advantageous in her subsequent role as the Data and Assessment Coordinator, particularly in relation to assisting MSD teachers in obtaining and maintaining teaching certification.
Jessica is currently working towards a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Management with a concentration in Creativity and Innovation from Drexel University, with an anticipated graduation date of December 2024. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and Theatre Arts from Gallaudet University, as well as a master's degree in Deaf Education from McDaniel College.
Jessica's official start date is August 23, 2023. Her leadership will also play a vital role in the forthcoming reopening of the Veditz Building, aligning course offerings with the demands of the future.
Plans are underway to initiate the process of seeking a replacement for the Data and Assessment Coordinator position. During this transition, Jessica will seamlessly support the data and assessment initiatives in her new capacity until the position is filled.
Please join us in welcoming Jessica Willoughby to her new role.