Mary Donnelly, in her 15th year as principal at John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School in East Highlandtown, has served Baltimore City students as a district employee for the past 42 years. Ms. Donnelly has overseen a period of major demographic change for the school, including a tremendous growth in enrollment (from 200 to 826 students as part of a conversion to K-8) and an increase in the percentage of students for whom English is a second language.
She has adapted her leadership style to address the changing needs of her school community and works tirelessly to make her school a welcoming and safe space that address the needs of all children and families. As a community partner put it, “Ms. Donnelly has worked to ensure that all families are included in school and feel that they can participate in their child's learning.”