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(Enlarge) John Yore, the new principal at Meade High School, said he wants to build on the success of the high school's International Baccalaureate Programme, Homeland Security Signature Program, Project Lead The Way and Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

In all his years as an educator, John Yore said he has never met a student who doesn't want to feel valued and respected.

As the new principal of Meade High School, Yore said fostering an environment where every interaction is respectful is one of his top priorities.

"I want everything we do to represent class and character," he said, "whether it's in the classroom, hallway, athletic field or on the stage."

Yore replaces Yolanda Leonard-Clark, who served as acting principal for six months and is now principal of Arundel Middle School in Odenton.

Before arriving at Meade High, Yore served for one year as assistant principal at Old Mill Middle North in Millersville.

"It's very exciting to be here at Meade," he said. "It's a very unique and special school."

Yore plans to build on the success of the high school's International Baccalaureate Programme, Homeland Security Signature Program, Project Lead The Way and Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

"We want to continue the good work that's being done academically and even enhance that further," he said. "We want a strong instructional focus and make sure we're reaching every student."

Meade High's High School Challenge Index, which takes into account the number of advanced placement, International Baccalaureate and other college-level exams given at a school divided by the number of graduates for the year, has increased.

The nationally recognized index, formerly called the Challenge Index and published by The Washington Post, ranks schools and school systems across the country.

During the 2006-2007 school year, Meade High's Challenge Index was .770, indicating less than one college-level exam per student per year. In 2011, the index rose to 2.049, indicating more than two exams per student per year.

The index remained the same for this year.

"In terms of advanced placement, we have been seeing more students involved in the courses and taking more assessments in the spring," Yore said. "From my perspective, I love to see continuous improvement in creating access for all students to engage in advanced course work. We certainly want to see successful completion of all courses, as well as strong scores on AP and IB exams."

Meade High offers more than 25 AP courses and a complete course sequence in the IB Programme in English, social studies, math, and world and classical languages. Yore said freshmen are encouraged to maintain excellent study habits and to enroll in honors, AP and IB classes.

Although the high school did not meet the state's Adequately Yearly Progress targets under the No Child Left Behind Act for limited proficient students and special education students in the 2010-2011 school year, Yore said he and the staff will "work strategically to develop strong interventions in every classroom" to "continue to eradicate any achievement gaps."

Yore and his wife, Susan, a school counselor in the Montgomery County Public Schools, have two children, Gabrielle, 16, and John Patrick, 10.

A native of Washington, D.C., Yore was born at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center. His father worked briefly at the National Security Agency in the early 1960s.

Yore attended Catholic grade schools in Prince George's County and attended Largo High School. He began studying biology at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., but transferred to the University of Maryland, College Park due to a family crisis.

At the University of Maryland, Yore majored in kinesiological sciences -- the study of human movement -- with an interest in a career in special education and physical education. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1983.

Yore began his graduate studies at the University of Maryland, studying motor development, but later transferred to Bowie State University for a master's degree in counseling.

During this time, he worked in special education at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi and on weekends as a consultant in a child development center program for children with special needs. The center was a partnership between the University of Maryland and Prince George's Community College.

After completing his course work in counseling, Yore earned a master's degree in school administration at John Hopkins University in 2002.

While pursuing his master's degree, he worked as a special education, science and physical education teacher at Tilden Middle School in Rockville, and as an assistant principal at Redland Middle School in Rockville and Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring.

By 2004, Yore had become the principal at Sherwood. He later served as principal of Cape Henlopen High School in Sussex County, Del., where he oversaw the school's $79 million construction.

In 2010, Yore served as principal at Our Lady of Good Counsel, a Catholic high school in Olney. The following year, he was assistant principal of Old Mill Middle North.

Yore, who recently had breakfast with Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein, said he looks forward to "maintaining strong ties with the community and the base."

Yore also has met with students and some parents and is enthusiastic about creating a climate of mutual respect.

"Integrity and values are very important to me," he said, noting that a climate of mutual respect doesn't "happen in isolation with single individuals."

"It's a collective response from the school community. ... We're much stronger together than we are individually," Yore said.

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