Principal - Retired
Year Honored: 1996Kent Island High School
At the time of the Award, Denise Hershberger was:Principal
Bayside Elementary School
Denise Hershberger retired July 1, 2011, after 36 years as an educator and administrator. During her career she servered as a principal at all three levels of public school. Her career began in Talbor County, Maryland, where she taught at Tilghman Elementary School and Easton Middle School. Her administrative career began at Easton Middle School as an Assistant Principal and after two years became Principal of White Marsh Elementary School. Her administrative career continued in Queen Anne's County Public Schools. Prior to being the Principal of Kent Island High School, Stevensville, MD, from 2006-2011, Denise served as the Principal of Stevensville Middle School from 1999-2006 during which time she was also President of the Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals. She continues to serve as the Federal Relations Representative for this organization. From 1992-1999, she was the Principal of Bayside Elementary School in Stevensville, and oversaw the school's transition from a traditional elementary school to an intermediate elementary school serving students from third to fifth grade. She reorganized the school system around a continuous learning approach to accommodate Maryland's policy of conducting performance assessment tests in grades three and five—with consideration for the needs of incoming third-graders—and to prepare exiting fifth- graders for middle school. Another Hershberger innovation was to divide the school's 25 regular classrooms into six learning communities spanning the grade levels. "In other words, we became six schools within one," she said. The new system provided for multi-age groupings, increased time for learning, and greater curriculum continuity. In 2005, Hershberger was recoginized as Maryland's National Distinguished Middle School Principal and Principal of the Year for Queen Anne's County Public Schools. In March, 2007, she was awarded the honor of High School Principal of the Year by the Student Government Association of Maryland; a particularly special honor, as she was nominated by her students. During 2007-08, Mrs. Hershberger served as President of the Council of Educational Administrative and Supervisory Organizations of Maryland. In addition, her school, Kent Island High School, received recognition for implementing Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS), a nationally recognized program to increase positive relations within the school community. In April of 2011, Mrs. Hershberger was honored with being named Maryland's Music Association's Administrator of the Year. After retiring, Mrs. Hershberger continues to be involved in education as the Executive Director of the Council of Educational Administrative and Supervisory Organizations of Maryland.