July 16, 2018
School & Youth
76° Scattered Clouds
  • Linda Toth, the outgoing principal of Lake Shore Elementary, posed with fifth-grade students (left to right) Dominick Sizemore, Evelyn Stevens, Allison Hogan and DJ Rodenhizer. Toth has been principal for eight years.
    Photo by Maya Pottiger
    Linda Toth, the outgoing principal of Lake Shore Elementary, posed with fifth-grade students (left to right) Dominick Sizemore, Evelyn Stevens, Allison Hogan and DJ Rodenhizer. Toth has been principal for eight years.
  • The faculty and staff at Pasadena Elementary threw reading specialist Lele Demestihas (center) a “book shower” when she became a grandmother in May.
    Photo Provided
    The faculty and staff at Pasadena Elementary threw reading specialist Lele Demestihas (center) a “book shower” when she became a grandmother in May.
  • Julie Little-McVearry is the incoming principal at Lake Shore Elementary. She has worked her entire 33-year career in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system.
    Photo Provided
    Julie Little-McVearry is the incoming principal at Lake Shore Elementary. She has worked her entire 33-year career in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system.

Linda Toth Says Farewell To Lake Shore Elementary

Maya Pottiger
Maya Pottiger's picture
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June 12, 2018

After eight years as principal, Linda Toth is leaving Lake Shore Elementary. She will take over as principal of Millersville Elementary in the Old Mill cluster.

Every year, as openings occur based on retirements and other shifts, the school district looks at its current employees to see who could “help that situation or be able to carry that situation,” Toth said.

“Based on being an Anne Arundel County Public School employee, I go where they tell me to go,” Toth said. “They’re telling me to go, and I’m going.”

During her tenure at Lake Shore, Toth worked to create an entire community that was involved with the students, including not only the administrators but also community members, the PTA and even Pasadena Business Association.

“I think the biggest thing for me is the feeling that it is a community of people involved with the children,” Toth said. “That whole, ‘We’re all in it together, we’re going to help these students and give them the best possible opportunities that we can.’”

Toth said one of her proudest achievements is earning the National Blue Ribbon certification at Lake Shore.

“I think one of the biggest kudos you can get is taking a school and helping them achieve that recognition,” Toth said.

Prior to being Lake Shore Elementary’s principal, Toth worked at Bodkin Elementary for 10 years.

“This feels like home to me. It’s a family. That will definitely be something that I miss being a part of every day,” Toth said. “However, I have the connections now, so I can still be a part of it. It’s just from a distance.”

Toth said she views the change as exciting and hopes to bring new eyes and new ideas to Millersville Elementary.

“They’re a great school to start with, so I just want to go and be a part of that community now and share what I have to share with them and learn from them, as well,” Toth said.

The incoming principal, Julie Little-McVearry, has spent her entire 33-year career in AACPS. Little-McVearry has worked at Ruth Parker Eason School, Brooklyn Park Elementary, Rippling Woods Elementary, Van Bokkelen Elementary, North Glen Elementary and Crofton Meadows Elementary.

Little-McVearry hopes to bring her experience, passion and understanding to Lake Shore. She wants to establish positive relationships with the staff, students and their families to create a community where everybody feels welcome and safe.
To help encourage these relationships, Little-McVearry said she has an open-door policy.

“Knowing what’s going on in your building is really critical for a principal. I never want to be blindsided, and I do communicate that to my staff,” Little-McVearry said. “I want to know what’s going on, positive or negative. That’s why I am here: to help you.”

A Severna Park resident, Little-McVearry said the change in location will lessen her commute and bring her closer to a network of fellow Ravens fans.

“I’ve heard only wonderful things about Lake Shore and the community,” Little-McVearry said. “I’m looking forward to the change.”

Lele Demestihas Retires After 34 Years In AACPS

Lele Demestihas started working in Anne Arundel County Public Schools in 1983. She was hired to be a classroom teacher at Brooklyn Park Elementary, where she worked for 10 years. From there, Demestihas taught at Ferndale Elementary for two years, and then switched over to being a reading specialist.

“It wasn’t something I was looking to do. Working closely with our school administration, they came [to me],” Demestihas said. “They saw something in what I was doing in the classroom. They’re the ones that pushed me. I didn't have this vision of going into this area, and I’m so glad I did.”

As a reading specialist, Demestihas has worked at Meade Heights High School, Severna Park Elementary and Pasadena Elementary, where she is ending her career.

“I really, really love what I do. I’m going out on a super high. I’m going out feeling wonderful,” Demestihas said. “I’m going out feeling accomplished that we’ve done great things in our school system. It’s bittersweet.”

In addition to spending her entire career with AACPS, Demestihas went through the school system as a student. Now, her daughter is a teacher in the school system.

“It’s unique in a way because there’s an attachment you have with the community, and you got to see the changes and how it grew and developed,” Demestihas said. “You know the people in the community, as well.”

In her retirement, Demestihas hopes to travel and spend time with her granddaughter. She will also continue teaching a reading class at Goucher College, where she is an instructor.

“I wanted to thank everybody who was part of my journey. Because of them is who I’ve become. They gave me my next step. I feel very blessed,” Demestihas said. “Now, I’m going to sit down and drink a hot cup of coffee without having to rush.”


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