How well do you know the principal at your neighborhood school? We’re surveying local principals to learn more about their hobbies, their best stories and some facts that might surprise you. Our first volunteer was Nuria Williams of Magothy River Middle School. Now, get to know Deneen Houghton of Oak Hill Elementary.
Q: How long have you been at Oak Hill Elementary School?
A: 12 years
Q: What is your favorite part of being a principal?
A: My favorite part about being a principal is interacting with the students. There is so much joy when visiting classrooms and seeing students grow academically and socially.
Q: Which school event do you look forward to the most each year?
A: Two events I enjoy are our silent and live auction and our Race for Education. The silent and live auction is an event held for Oak Hill parents. Weeks leading up to the event, grade levels create beautiful pieces of art that are then auctioned off during the live auction. Each year, the event has a theme. Last year, it was a western hoedown, and this year, it is “Caddy Shack”. The event builds community and relationships as parents and staff attend this fun-filled evening together.
The second event is our Race for Education. The entire day is devoted to student fitness. Each grade level has an hour to run, jog or walk around a track. Parents and family members are welcome to participate in this event.
Q: What’s something interesting most people don’t know about you?
A: I have four horses. My husband, daughter and I enjoy trail-riding with friends through various places in Maryland, such as Patapsco State Park and Gunpowder Falls.
Q: Which decade do you love the most and why?
A: I like the ‘80s. I enjoy the music from the 1980s.
Q: What is your favorite professional sports team?
A: I am a Ravens fan. I have season tickets. I went to the Super Bowl when they played the San Francisco 49ers.
Q: You’re gathering friends or family to play a board game, card game or video game. Which game do you choose and why?
A: When playing games with family and friends, we often choose Pictionary. It is a fun, interactive game; we spend a lot of time laughing.
Q: Do you cook? What is your favorite dish to prepare?
A: I am not a great cook. I am fortunate that my husband is a wonderful cook, and he enjoys cooking. I love any type of seafood.
Q: What was your least favorite food as a child? Do you still hate it or do you love it now?
A: As a child, my least favorite food was spaghetti, and my parents had it once a week. Although I will eat it now, spaghetti is still one of my least favorite foods.
Q: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
A: I ziplined in Gatorland while in Florida. The ziplines were all through the park, high above the alligators.
Q: If you have a day with absolutely no plans, how do you spend it?
A: If I had a day without plans, I would spend it at my horse club horseback riding with my husband and my daughter. We often camp after horseback riding, so we often sit around a campfire with family and friends.