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Villa Cresta's Bishop Bids Students Farewell

The 8 year principal of the Parkville Elementary School will retire over the summer.

Retiring Villa Cresta Elementary School principal Kathy Bishop bid farewell to her students in a unique way Friday morning when she climbed onto the school's roof to lead them in one last dance celebration.

Bishop is no stranger to the gravel roof of the Rader Avenue school—she's climbed up there before, dressed as the school mascot and as the Wicked Witch of the West, as a reward for students meeting fundrasier goals.

"The first time I climbed up there I didn't know what I was going to do," Bishop said. "But we danced and we had fun. I knew I had to do it one last time."

And so she did.

Although Bishop doesn't officially retire until July 1, today was her last day with the students and that, she said, is what she'll miss the most.

"The children ... that part is hard," she said in an interview. "I really, really miss the kids and that’s going to be a hard one for me. I wrote a letter [announcing my retirement] and the letter went home with all the children—well, of course they read it. I walked outside just to say goodbye to the kids that day and they were really upset."

"One little kindergarten student said to me, 'what does that mean, is it like a vacation'," she said. "I didn’t expect that, that they would say you can’t retire."

Before she came to Villa Cresta back in 2004, Bishop served as assistant principal at several Baltimore County schools including Sparrows Point Middle and taught at Seneca Elementary School.

"I love this school—it's truly a community school," Bishop said. "I have parents here volunteering all day and there's a lot of tradition at this school. If you go out in the hall, they have pictures of every graduating class going back to 1950. [People] will say to me 'I went here,' and want to show everybody their picture on the wall."

Bishop said that coming into a school with deep roots wasn't a challenge at all.

"I respect the traditions. It makes our school unique and special," Bishop said.

Bishop said she hopes that she's remembered as a principal who took the time to know her students.

"The children know me, they know who I am. I'm very visible, that’s the most important thing to me: establishing those relationships with the children, not just a figurehead for the school but someone they know and respect."

The outgoing principal has already met with Villa Cresta's new principal, Leslie Dunn (a transfer from Timber Creek Elementary School) and plans to continue working with her through the transition.

And once July 1 rolls around? Bishop, an avid gardener, is planning to spend lots of time with her husband Ted and daughters Amy and Kelly.

Are you a Villa Cresta parent, teacher, volunteer or student? Share your memories of principal Kathy Bishop on Patch!

Karen Packer June 09, 2012 at 12:42 PM
As a parent of Villa Cresta Elementary, I must say I am really going to miss Principal Bishop. I wish her luck and happiness.
Kiley Saeed June 09, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I volunteer frequently at VCE. A huge part of that school is Mrs. Bishop. She helped me through some very difficult times and for that, I love her. She truly loves her students and parents. I hope our new principal is as kind and generous as she is. My heart broke during her farewell yesterday (which I videotaped). Tears ran down my face knowing it would be a while before I could give her another hug and say thank you. PS- sorry for guving you guys crap yesterday. Thanks so much for this HUGE article! :)
Alex Tarr June 09, 2012 at 01:14 PM
We love you Mrs. Bishop! Thank you for making Villa Cresta a great school!
teech June 09, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Kathy Bishop was the best! Thank you and best wishes!
Parent of two June 10, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Mrs. Bishop was a wonderful Principal. She set the tone for creativity from staff and students, motivated learning and a sense of community. One of the best Principals I've been privileged to know. She left some huge shoes to fill. She will be sorely missed!!!!
Rocco Rotondo June 10, 2012 at 12:55 AM
My wife who is now in the hospital with a stroke worked in the dinning helping the children with their lunch's adored Mrs Bishop wishes her a great well deserved retirement. She thanked Mrs Bishop for the beatiful flowers and all who contributed.
Sherri Halligan-Warner June 13, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Sherri Halligan-Warner Mrs. Bishop was an amazing principal and administrator and will never be forgotten by her students and their grateful parents. My family will miss her.

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