The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Catch-Up with Dr. Garran: Video Interview

Catch-Up with Dr. Garran: Video Interview

Last year, the WJ community was devastated to see beloved principal, leader and friend Christopher Garran step down as principal, to accept a new position as community superintendent.

Because it would be quite difficult for county superintendent Joshua Starr to keep up with and take care of the day-to-day issues in all of the schools in the county, the system is broken up into six “clusters.” It is part of Garran’s job to oversee one of these communities, which includes WJ, Whitman, B-CC and Wheaton High Schools and all of the corresponding middle and elementary schools that feed into these schools.

 It is the community superintendent’s responsibility to support the schools, supervise their principals, monitor how they are doing and coach their leadership staffs.

Garran has learned a lot so far, including the various system-wide initiatives that take place and things that go on at the system level.

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Garran, previously a principal in this cluster, finds it enjoyable to continue working with the same associates as before but in a different way.

“I knew I had great colleagues already, but that has really been reinforced for me,” said Garran. “We have a lot of really good people working out there.”

Additionally, in his new job, Garran has found that he enjoys working with students at the elementary school level far more than he had initially expected he would.

“I was always really afraid of elementary schools; I really didn’t understand those kindergartners or first graders,” said Garran. “To me they were just a bunch of runny noses and stuff, but now that I have gone into a lot of elementary schools, I realize there are amazing teachers and principals working there and great kids.”

Although Garran does enjoy his new position, it has some drawbacks.

“I have too many meetings I have to go to. And some of them are far too long, so I spend far too much of my life now sitting,” said Garran. “I [also] spend a lot more time in my car.”

Last year, there were ample rumors circulating the WJ community that Garran would eventually try and become the superintendent of all of Montgomery County, after being prompted. This rumor, however, proved not to be true.

“It would be odd to become the superintendent of a system I’ve been part of for so many years,” said Garran, “and I’m still not sure if that’s what I want to do. There is a part of me that would like to do this for a couple years, and have this experience, but go back to being a school-based leader.”

After spending a great deal of time in schools throughout the area, Garran still appreciates and admires the WJ area.

“WJ is an awesome place and I hope people here are fully aware of that,” said Garran. “I think the new job is fun, but nothing compares with being at Walter Johnson.”

He hopes that WJ students are also fully aware of how great it is here.

“When you are part of a place, you sometimes take it for granted. Then, when you leave it, you realize how great it really is,” said Garran, “I knew [that] when I was here at WJ, I loved the students, the community and the faculty but I can say that I am even more aware of that now.”

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