By Marissa Cohen
As a senior here at North, I’ve known our principal Ms. Susan McCarthy since the first time I visited this school in eighth grade. So after Ms. McCarthy announced that she would be retiring at the end of this year, I knew that I had to interview her to learn more about her life before teaching and her experiences at this school. I had an amazing time getting to know Ms. McCarthy and hearing some of the interesting stories she has from her 48 years working at Council Rock.
Ms. McCarthy grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, and she knew from high school that her strong suit was English after taking the first AP English class her high school offered. Ms. McCarthy went to Temple University and chose to major in English education because, in her opinion, it was a more practical major than studying English.
Once she graduated from Temple, Ms. McCarthy started searching for jobs. After applying to many different positions, the only school district that offered her a job was a small school district called Council Rock over an hour away from her home. They hired her to teach 9th and 10th grade English.
Eventually, Ms. McCarthy started teaching 11th and 12th grade electives as well, and became the English department coordinator. She then moved to guidance counseling because she wanted a job where she could have more personal relationships with her students while working towards two masters degrees.
Although she has worked in administration at Council Rock for so long, Ms. McCarthy told me that being in administration wasn’t initially part of her plan. According to her, a previous principal once asked her if she’d ever taken courses in administration, so she worked to get her certification a little while after.
She worked as the principal of curriculum and master scheduler before being temporarily moved to Richboro Middle School. By the time Ms. McCarthy came back to the high school, it had split into two schools, and she was the principal at Council Rock South for a year before moving here to North, where she’s been ever since.
After I asked Ms. McCarthy what the best part of her job is, she said, “It would probably be easier for me to name all the things I don’t like about my job!” She loves coming in every day and working with the students and staff. She told me how amazing her administrative team is, and she admires the grade-level principals and how well they relate to the students. She also really enjoys blue and white night each year because she thinks it’s our best display of school spirit. She pointed out how altruistic we are as a school, especially with the drives put on by different clubs and the many LINCS hours that students complete.
On the flip side, Ms. McCarthy said that her biggest challenge is to avoid complacency and to always improve the school. Being intentional in every decision she makes while staying on guard is extremely important to her.
One of my final questions was about any advice she has for her successor, so she gave me a few points from the binder of advice she’s already created. Ms. McCarthy first brought back the importance of always being intentional about the role of principal and not taking for granted how well we already do as a school.
She also emphasized the need for the next principal to empower both their staff and the students at North. According to Ms. McCarthy, a principal doesn’t have all the answers, so it’s important to listen to students’ voices. Her last major point was that a principal must always impart the need and respect for diversity and inclusion while supporting the equity of all students.
After her retirement, Ms. McCarthy plans to travel a lot, if the pandemic allows it. She told me that she loves Disney and cruises, so she plans to take multiple trips to Disney, go on multiple cruises, and take her grandson on a Disney cruise when they reopen. She would also like to travel to a mindfulness and meditation spa in Arizona with her daughter, do volunteer work at organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, and possibly teach administration courses for aspiring principals in college.
It was a pleasure getting to speak to Ms. McCarthy and learning more about her experiences at North. I know that I can speak for the rest of the student body by wishing Ms. McCarthy a happy retirement after her 48 years at Council Rock!
The Council Rock North Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Team came home with the Top Honors with strong performances at the 2021 Virtual State Leadership Conference. Beyond earning recognition for having the largest membership in Pennsylvania, the CR North FBLA student performers scored magnificent victories in numerous business categories.
All student members have the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and ability in various business-related events. This year, our students earned the top slots for their competitive events, making this one of club history's most memorable victories.
Vincent Sherpinsky, the CR North FBLA Club Advisor, stated, "These students represent the best of Council Rock, and their performance reflects the highest levels of hard work, dedication, and commitment to be successful. Under the toughest competition conditions students have ever faced, our CR North FBLA members overcame these challenging obstacles to demonstrate that nothing can stop Council Rock students."
The Council Rock North FBLA Club holds the honor of being the largest FBLA Chapter in Pennsylvania with 127 members. Further, at the individual and team levels, our performance is unmatched.
Second place winners in Pennsylvania include Max Ondik for Non-Profit Management and Varoon Ragupathi for Python Programming. Varoon also took 4th Place in Pennsylvania for Coding and Programming.
Jake Karp took 4th Place in Pennsylvania for Personal Finance while Derrick Lukomski-Pizzo took 5th Place in Pennsylvania for Retail Management.
Sixth place winners include Flavien Moise for Cyber Security, Evan Caruso for Microeconomics, and Raymond Setters (Club President) for Accounting.
Earning 7th place honors were Sanjula Reddy for Impromptu Speaking, T.J. Blancato for Microeconomics, and the Entrepreneurship team of Brittney Coe, Lauren Batt, and Audrey Fisher.
Rocco Panangadan, Samuel Epstein, and Evan Caruso took 8th Place in Pennsylvania for Hospitality and Event Management.
Our final winner was Evan Caruso in 10th place for Public Relations.
To continue the record of academic achievement, honor, and recognition, five Council Rock North students, Madison O’Leary (Vice-president), Kaylin Lee, Stella Puckett, Evan Caruso, and Samuel Epstein were inducted into the National Business Honor Society. Council Rock North holds the highest number of National Business Honor Society membership in Bucks County.