by Brenna Henderson ‘21
As one of many administrative changes at the start of this school year, Sherwood welcomes Belinda Penn as a new assistant principal. She mostly recently worked at Roberto Clemente Middle School in MCPS as a Resource Counselor.
At Sherwood, Penn plans to support students in their journey and help them achieve their goals. “It has always been my goal to support in shifting and shaping students to be their best,” Penn said. “My main goal is to base every decision on what is best for students and communicate with the shared stakeholders–parents, teachers and community–to support this goal.” During virtual learning, Penn plans visits to Zoom classes and attend virtual clubs or events to engage with students. Even though students and teachers are not at school physically, Penn’s ‘door’ is always open for questions or concerns.
Penn has been in education for seventeen years, getting her first job right after earning her undergraduate degree. She’s worked at many different schools, including T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria as a special education teacher. She also has had positions as long-term sub and counselor, andPenn was also in the Navy Reserve and was stationed in Little Creek, VA.
One of her most adventurous job opportunities was at The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls in Abu Dhabi as an academic advisor. The opportunity to work in Abu Dhabi “not only allowed for a lot of travel experiences but allotted a new lens to global education,” Penn commented. It also is a reflection of her passion for traveling, and she has been to more than 30 countries with Jordan being her favorite. As she settles in her new position at Sherwood, Penn has a loving dog named Baxter for company and who “thinks he’s human.”