In her 21-year education career, Glenna Blessing has been in middle and high schools, but as the new assistant principal at St. John the Evangelist, she will now aid in the development of elementary school students for the first time.
Blessing left Northeast Middle School after three years as principal following the 2021-2022 school year because she saw an opportunity to become more grounded in her faith and spend more time with her family, including a sixth-grader who attends St. John the Evangelist.
“I am a product of Catholic education,” Blessing said. “My journey from kindergarten through high school was through Catholic schools and both my children are in Catholic schools, so I felt this vocational calling. It is grounded in faith-based practice. I am very excited to be able to return to my roots in Catholic education.”
Blessing started her career as an assistant professor at Goucher College and dance department chair at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, both in Baltimore County. She then became chair of the Performing and Visual Arts program at Annapolis High School before joining Glen Burnie High School as an assistant principal in 2014.
Glen Burnie High School Principal Scott McGuire spent only six months working with Blessing, but that time was enough for her to leave a lasting impression. He praised her during a conversation with the Voice in 2019.
“Glenna is a collaborative leader,” McGuire said. “She really built strong relationships with the students, the parents and the kids. She was also innovative and created solutions to problems.”
Blessing is excited to help students academically but also holistically, in mind, body and spirit.
“Joy in prayer, making new friends as we start the school year, and learning how to do all the routines of school for the first time, that is exciting to see,” she said. “Seeing students experience all that St. John is about is what is bringing joy to my role as an educator.
“Just like it’s location, location, location with real estate, it’s relationships, relationships, relationships [in education],” she said. “I want to build relationships not only with students but with staff and let them know I’m here for whatever they need whether that’s assisting in the classroom or helping with lesson plans.”
Academically, Blessing and the St. John staff will need to prepare students for a new standardized test implemented by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. She has no doubt that the teachers are capable.
“This is a community of strong educators who give of themselves wholly with care and compassion,” Blessing said. “You see that everywhere with teachers … but here, I have felt the excitement and energy. They want to do what is best for students and are thinking how they are going to meet the needs of all students in mind, body and spirit.”
Blessing looks forward to school plays, the Junior Olympics, May Fair and other events at St. John.
“I think, as administrators, we feel a deep connection to each school community we work with, and I am looking forward to St. John becoming a school family for me,” Blessing said. “I am looking forward to connecting with students, their families, and our teachers throughout the school year.”
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