The beginning of the 2019-20 school year will see a new principal take the reins at Woodbridge Middle School. Tara Downes, who has taken over as principal, wants to build a “Bridge to Success.” Joining Downes as assistant principal is L’Tanya Cain, who came in during the 2018-19 school year as a replacement for the previous assistant principal who left to go upstate.
“I am truly honored to be a part of the Woodbridge School District,” said Downes. “My mission as principal at Woodbridge Middle School is to serve as a transformational leader dedicated to providing a safe environment for staff, faculty and students in order to ensure quality teaching and learning as well as creating a community of supports academically, socially and emotionally for all stakeholders.”
The theme for the upcoming school year for WMS is the “Bridge to Success.”
“We find as students and families transition from elementary to high school, we are committed to fostering a love of learning through building relationships with innovation, differentiation, grit, equity,” Downes explained. “We want to build relationships with the students and parents. There will be no major changes in the school. We will be providing high quality instruction to the students. We will be communicating with our parents by our school website, our Facebook page and forms of communication. We want our parents to be involved and informed. We want to stress building relationships. I pledge to work hard to ensure student success!”
Downes graduated from North Caroline High School in neighboring Caroline County, Maryland and has been a lifelong resident of the Eastern Shore. She has 15 years of experience as an educator, assistant principal and principal in Maryland public schools and is excited to be a part of the Woodbridge School District family.
Downes graduated in 1992 from Salisbury University with a bachelor of arts in English, followed by a master of science in instructional technology/school library media in 2005 from Towson University, a master of science in human resource development/educational leadership in 2012 from Towson University and the Academy for Leadership in Education Program in 2014 from Salisbury University.
In October of last year, L’Tanya Cain replaced Shafta Collazo, who moved to the Middletown area.
“It has truly been an honor to be a part of such a great organization such as the Woodbridge School District,” said Cain. “I have been welcomed with grace, with love and had a wonderful, successful school year last year. I came here from Philadelphia, Pa., where I taught 4th, 5th, 1st, Pre-K and 6th grade for 10 years. I have worked in the capacity of a teacher for 10 years and as an administrator (master teacher, program director and an assistant principal) for 10 years.”
“My family and I relocated to the beautiful state of Delaware where I had the opportunity to teach in the Smyrna and Red Clay School Districts,” Cain continued. “I am truly excited to serve as an administrator here at Woodbridge where our teachers strive, thrive and succeed with our students. Our children are our nucleus and we intend to provide the best, high-quality education they deserve. My door is always open as we continue to prepare children to be contributing citizens in a global society. My passion is our children, our future. I look forward to working with Tara as a team to help ‘Build the Bridge to Success.’”
Cain has a bachelor of science in education from Millersville University, a master of education from Arcadia University and principal certification K-12 from Cabrini University. She completed the NISL Leadership Academy Program and the Delaware Leadership Induction Program.
Downes and Cain want students and parents to know the important dates that are coming up.
“We will be having Back to School Nights on the following dates,” said Downes. “Sixth grade on Aug. 21, 6 p.m., and schedules will be provided. We will have seventh grade on Sept. 5, 6 p.m. Schedules will be mailed the week of Aug. 19. Also, parents can go to any of these social media addresses for information: www.wmsraiders.net, www.facebook.com/wmsraiders/, and twitter.com/WoodbrgMSRocks.”