Worcester Prep Gets In-Person School Year Underway

BERLIN — Worcester Preparatory School teachers and students returned to campus this week to resume in-person classes.

In addition, following successful pre-season workouts, all fall athletics (cross country, field hockey, golf, soccer, and volleyball) will commence and compete on a modified basis in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference (ESIAC).

In April, a Mallard Strong Task Force was formed to create a recovery plan to safely navigate a return to campus for faculty, staff and students. The Task Force carefully formulated policies and procedures revolving around safety including protocols for scheduling, physical distancing, health screening, daily cleaning/sanitizing, protective equipment, transportation, and the appropriate use of common areas.

Throughout the year, the task force will continue to coordinate with Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools, while reviewing information and recommendations from the Governor’s Office, Worcester County Health Department and CDC.

“Our Mallard Strong Task Force has worked tirelessly for months to create a safe environment for our Worcester Prep families,” said WPS Head of School Dr. John McDonald, who began his first year July 1 after his appointment by the Board of Trustees. “The energy in our hallways was palpable as teachers returned to setup their new physically-distanced classrooms. I, too, am excited to welcome everyone back to campus in order to provide an exceptional educational experience with as much normalcy as possible.”

A leader with a lifelong passion for education and learning, McDonald comes to Berlin from Ticonderoga, N.Y., where he most recently served as Superintendent of Schools in the Ticonderoga Central School District. In addition to his notable educational background, leadership qualities, and ability to connect with people, he brings extensive knowledge and experience in almost every facet of education, from independent schools to the public school sector.

McDonald holds an undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University, a master’s degree from Northeastern University, and a doctorate from Columbia University’s Teachers College in Educational Leadership. He began his career at Bayside Academy, an independent school in Alabama with over 700 students, where he taught history and then transitioned to Middle School Head and Assistant Head of School. For the past 19 years, he has served as the superintendent of an 800-student school district, managing a $20M budget.

McDonald and his wife, Andrea, along with their two daughters, relocated from New York to Berlin this summer. His youngest daughter, Anna, will attend WPS this fall and his oldest daughter, Meg, is a student at the University of Delaware.

Celebrating 50 years, WPS is an independent, college prep day school for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 students. Located in Berlin, the private school attracts an average of 500 students from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.