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BALTIMORE (July 26, 2016) – The Baltimore City Public School System Board of School Commissioners today approved the appointment of Mrs. Zaharah Valentine as principal of the Baltimore Design School. Mrs. Valentine was the unanimous choice of a search committee including Baltimore Design School parents, teachers and board members. Her appointment follows the resignation of Dr. Melissa Patrylo, who held the position since 2014.

Mrs. Valentine served as Interim Principal at Baltimore Design School this past spring, where she impressed school system administrators, teachers, parents, and board members with her acumen for leadership, and command over the student body.

“Over Baltimore Design School’s first five years, it has accomplished so much. It has become one of the most sought after schools in the city, built partnerships with design firms, colleges and universities and corporations such as Under Armour,” said Fred Lazarus, vice chair, Board of Directors, Baltimore Design School. “It has built an award-winning building in Station North, and attracted an outstanding faculty. Zaharah Valentine brings the experience, passion and love for the students and the school’s mission to this position. She is poised to build on all we have accomplished and to help us achieve our true potential to become a national leader in design education.”

Previously, Mrs. Valentine served as Resident Principal at Baltimore City College High School and wore many hats at the Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School where she served as Baltimore Teachers Union Model Education Associate, Literacy Leader, Instructional Coach, ILT Facilitator, and New Teacher Mentor Coordinator.

“I am elated to serve for a board of directors, teachers, staff and parents that are excited to collaboratively create a 5-year strategic plan that will change the trajectory of the urban designers being prepared for college and career readiness in Baltimore City Public Schools,” said Mrs. Valentine. “There is an amazing opportunity to ensure that BDS is known as a rigorous pre-collegiate commercial design program that aligns their curriculum and design pathways to national industry standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Next Generation Standards.”

Baltimore Design School opened its doors in 2011 with 6th and 7th grades. Each year, the school has added a grade to its roster, and this year will graduate its first class.