Mary Donnelly

Guest Blogger

Principal, John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School

Baltimore, Maryland

Mary Donnelly, in her 15th year as principal at John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School in East Highlandtown, has served Baltimore City students as a district employee for the past 42 years. Ms. Donnelly has overseen a period of major demographic change for the school, including a tremendous growth in enrollment (from 200 to 826 students as part of a conversion to K-8) and an increase in the percentage of students for whom English is a second language.

She has adapted her leadership style to address the changing needs of her school community and works tirelessly to make her school a welcoming and safe space that address the needs of all children and families. As a community partner put it, “Ms. Donnelly has worked to ensure that all families are included in school and feel that they can participate in their child’s learning.”

RECENT POSTS

Posted May 20, 2016

Meet a Baltimore Principal Who After 42 Years Is Still Showing Heart

In 1974, I started my journey as a fifth-grade teacher at Abbottston Elementary—the following week, all the teachers went on…

By Mary Donnelly

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Posted July 29, 2021

You Can and Must Foster Belonging, Acceptance, and Support for Your LGBTQIA+ Students. It’s a Matter of Life and Death.

Many young people see belonging as a quest to fit in, but it’s so much deeper than that. Belonging means accepting, celebrating, and including our…

By Casey Pettit

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Posted July 26, 2021

At Freedom School Literacy Academy, Black Pride and Academic Achievement Go Hand-in-Hand

Erika Asikoye is the Director of the Freedom School Literacy Academy (FSLA) at The Center for Black Educator Development in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The FSLA, for…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Aug. 3, 2021

Expert Q&A: Focusing on Teacher Well-Being Benefits Students

For more than 35 years, Donna Housman has been helping young children, their teachers and their caregivers build their emotional intelligence. At the Housman Institute,…

By Maureen Kelleher

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