Magothy River Middle’s Noon, Jones’ Whisman Are Latest Principals To Find New Homes


Throughout his tenure at the helm of Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Superintendent Mark Bedell has consistently stressed the importance of strong academic achievement. Pursuant to these goals, along with considering enrollment figures, the superintendent has decided to shift some of the county’s principals.

John Noon Leaves Magothy River Middle School

Next year, John Noon will no longer be the principal of Magothy River Middle School, instead taking over at Marley Middle School in Glen Burnie. He is set to be replaced by Lindsay Abruzzo, who had held the same position at Severna Park High School since early 2023. Noon has been the principal at Magothy since the summer of 2020, when he took over for Nuria Williams after she was promoted to a role within the county’s central office. Prior to that, Noon spent six years as the principal at Broadneck Elementary, a job that gave him the opportunity to form unique connections within the Arnold community.

Since becoming the principal at Broadneck Elementary, Noon has had the opportunity to oversee his children’s schools, starting at Broadneck with his oldest son, Gabriel, and ending at Magothy with his younger son, Anthony. These experiences have greatly impacted his development as an administrator, and he hopes that he will be able to carry his more personal approach to decision making with him to Marley, even though his children won’t be with him.

“I would say the blessing, and I guess curse, of having them with you in the school - your own children - is that every decision you make has a personal impact,” Noon said. “And I think that’s something where, when I’m hiring and when I’m working with teachers, because it’s been 10 years of that, it’s now just ingrained in me where every decision I make it’s like, ‘Hey man, that’s my child that is impacted by these decisions.’”

When asked to reflect on his tenure at Magothy, Noon was particularly proud of the school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He highlighted the difficulties that he experienced coming into the school during virtual instruction. He understood how easy it could be for academic and artistic performance to crater in such an environment, so Magothy’s ability to bounce back in both departments has been a source of pride for him.

“Dealing with families’ emotions, and the kids having to resocialize back into school, that was a really huge challenge initially,” Noon said. “And then, I thought we did an amazing job as a school of really kind of getting back into being in school again over the past year and a half, two years where - back to normal, right?”

To this point in his career, Noon hasn’t worked within the Glen Burnie school cluster, meaning that Marley presents a new challenge for him, in more ways than one. The school population is much larger than Magothy, and he doesn’t have pre-existing deep ties to the community. But both factors have made him even more excited to connect with the community, in ways that go beyond academics.

“I do have some connections at Glen Burnie High School, so I’ve actually already spoken to the coaches to see if there are some partnerships we could have, with the high school and the athletic programs and doing some work with our middle schoolers,” Noon said. “I think some of those things where, it's not necessarily going to start off being academic right away. Maybe more of the arts and athletic programs that we can help get ingrained in the community.”

Jim Whisman Says Goodbye To Jones Elementary

Noon wasn’t the only principal to be given a fresh start. Jim Whisman, who earned the position at Jones in 2019 as a first-year principal, has landed in the same role at Eastport Elementary heading into 2024.

“I started at Jones in 2019 as a first-year principal, so over the five years I've been here at Jones, I’ve built a lot of great relationships with the students, staff and community,” Whisman said. “So finding out that I was moving to a different school was bittersweet for sure.”

Originally a teacher for seven years, Whisman began to transition to administrative roles in 2012, seven years prior to his promotion to Jones. He’s been shuffled around quite a bit throughout his career, to the point where he’s never stayed at a single school for more than five years. This lack of consistency would be difficult for most to handle, but for Whisman, it’s simply par for the course.

“I believe that change is good for a person, and it allows you to kind of reflect on your past experiences and start new, start a new adventure,” Whisman said. “So I’m excited for a new start to build relationships down there, and seeing what the future holds in my new position.”

As principals, both Whisman and Noon understand the importance of integrating into the community. Whisman was particularly proud of the relationships he built at Jones, and he hopes to use some of those same relationship-building tactics to ingratiate himself with the Eastport community.

“The biggest thing I think most communities and staff want is a leader that’s visible, a leader that is transparent, a leader that is trustworthy,” he said. “So, my plan going forward is to get in there, hit the ground running, and meet as many people as possible during the summer months in preparation for this new school year.”


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