ROCK HALL — After two years at Kent County Middle School, Joe Graf has been promoted to principal of the high school here.
The announcement was made at a meeting of the Kent County Board of Education Monday, April 26, with Graf and his family in attendance. Also at the meeting, the board approved changing the date of graduation from the traditional Saturday event to a Friday.
Graf, a Chesapeake City resident, was hired by Kent County Public Schools in 2019 as the vice principal for Kent County Middle School in Chestertown. He came here from Cecil County Public Schools, where he was the special education building coordinator and football coach for Bohemia Manor High School.
Graf said he enjoys the multi-faceted aspect of Kent County High School in Worton, including the academics, the sports and the Career and Technology Education program. He also said he is excited to work with the teachers at the high school.
“I loved my time at the middle school here, so I look forward to taking some of that knowledge and head it toward the high school,” Graf said.
Kent County Middle School Principal Mary Helen Spiri said Graf has been extraordinary to work with.
“He has wonderful relationships with kids and families,” Spiri said. “And he’s committed to Kent County. He wants to be here for the long run.”
Spiri said she will miss having Graf at the middle school, but looks forward to working with him at the high school.
“That’s going to be a strong collaboration,” Spiri said.
Graf holds a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Frostburg State University and a master’s in educational administration from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. He is a graduate of Bo Manor, Class of 2003.
Graf takes over the position of principal at Kent County High School from Dale Kevin Brown, who has been on leave since February. Brown was hired by Kent County Public Schools in 2019.
Also at the April 26 meeting, board members unanimously approved changing the date of graduation at the high school from Saturday, June 5 to Friday, June 4.
Kent County Public Schools Supervisor of Secondary Education and Student Services Tracey Williams, herself a former principal at the high school, said that for health safety purposes, the plan is to hold graduation outside at Trojan Stadium in a shortened ceremony that will not have a guest speaker.
Williams said an overwhelming majority of students and families who responded to a survey favored the date change, as did 100% of the teachers at the high school.