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Q and A: DHS Principal Noel Maloof

He answers questions about the academic challenges, taking on a school with highly involved parents, the prospects of the DHS basketball team and retaining educators considering financial problems in DeKalb Schools.

You were a popular principal at Vanderlyn Elementary. How have you been
accepted at Dunwoody High School? Do you consider this a move up - a new
opportunity?

My reception at DHS has been supportive and welcoming. It is hard to leave
a school like Vanderlyn where the school community felt like my second
family. I am sure that DHS will become the same for me. In fact, it is
sort of a homecoming after serving as an Assistant Principal here before
leaving to become Principal at Vanderlyn Elementary. The staff and
community at DHS are fantastic. We share so many common goals that I am
sure it will be a long lasting and positive relationship.

Yes, this really is a great opportunity to reach beyond just the Vanderlyn
community and work with the entire Dunwoody cluster. I also feel that
working at the High School level will also afford me new opportunities for
growth as a leader. Overall, I am very happy with the move.

What are the challenges facing DHS this year? Renovations are basically
complete, correct? Can you tell us of new programs people are excited to
be a part of?

DHS faces many of the same challenges that all schools are facing right
now. With budgets and resources shrinking, we have to find new ways of
getting the job done. These factors put a great deal of strain on the
teachers and students. Our staff has really come together to address this
and will make sure that Dunwoody stays a top High School in the state of
Georgia.

You were a popular principal at Vanderlyn Elementary. How have you been
accepted at Dunwoody High School? Do you consider this a move up - a new
opportunity?

My reception at DHS has been supportive and welcoming. It is hard to leave
a school like Vanderlyn where the school community felt like my second
family. I am sure that DHS will become the same for me. In fact, it is
sort of a homecoming after serving as an Assistant Principal here before
leaving to become Principal at Vanderlyn Elementary. The staff and
community at DHS are fantastic. We share so  many common goals that I am
sure it will be a long lasting and positive relationship.

Yes, this really is a great opportunity to reach beyond just the Vanderlyn
community and work with the entire Dunwoody cluster. I also feel that
working at the High School level will also afford me new opportunities for
growth as a leader. Overall, I am very happy with the move.

What are the challenges facing DHS this year? Renovations are basically
complete, correct? Can you tell us of new programs people are excited to
be a part of?

DHS faces many of the same challenges that all schools are facing right
now. With budgets and resources shrinking, we have to find new ways of
getting the job done. These factors put a great deal of strain on the
teachers and students. Our staff has really come together to address this
and will make sure that Dunwoody stays a top High School in the state of
Georgia.

Tell us what has to improve with student achievement at DHS. Test scores
are high. What else is important to improve upon?

This is an easy one. We want to improve student literacy. All students
need to have the best reading and writing skills possible to head into all
post-secondary options. This is not to say that Dunwoody High School has a
problem with students not being able to read and write. In fact, we out
perform most schools in the areas of reading and writing. I believe,
however, that we should be working to help our students with even more
sophisticated literacy skills. Being able to comprehend and communicate at
the highest level is really the key to our student's success.

Who is going to win the DeKalb Basketball section Dunwoody plays in?

Of course the Dunwoody Wildcats will. Who else would I root for?

Tell us a personal story of being the DHS principal in the Dunwoody
community. What's something that has stuck out to you that parents have
asked you about.

In such a short time there is not one personal story that sticks out as a
defining moment. What does stick out is the constant support and
excitement that I feel each day. we are on to something good here at DHS. The next few years will be a fantastic transition to the next chapter in
DHS history. My goal and mission is to take us to a new level of
excellence that shows how a traditional high school can have the
competitive edge over even our magnet and private schools.

Are budget issues in the district affecting your school? Is teacher retention a problem? Has (Board member) Nancy Jester helped you understand and deal with district challenges.? 

Yes. Budget issues make it harder. With an increase in class size and
fewer resources teachers have a harder time getting it done. This has not
impacted teacher retention so far, but as with any industry we should pay
close attention to our employees. I work hard to make sure we provide the
best work environment we can. Our community and its support can go a long
way in this department.

Sam November 02, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Maloof has done a pretty good job so far although he has rubbed some of the kids the wrong way with his discipline, but I can`t say I blame him. Not sure if it is normal, but there have been a lot of kids from Dunwoody HS arrested for various crimes so far this year, some rather severe. I wont mention names here because most of the families are really good people, but the Dekalb arrest photos online don`t lie. Just last week, some kids at a fundraiser said the Dekalb police pulled a gay kid out of class for making threats to hurt another student. Just crazy!

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