o;ce to talk, or stop him in the halls.
Jacob Rosenblum, who graduated in
2013, collaborated with Goodwin often
while serving as student body president
during his senior year. When the student
government wanted permission to allow
students from other schools to attend
its annual February fundraising dance
marathon, Rosenblum says “he worked
with us to make it happen.”
Goodwin travels regularly to MCPS
headquarters in Rockville to meet with
other high school principals or school
system administrators. “;ere’s always
another meeting,” he says. In between,
he visits classrooms and talks with
students, sometimes sitting down with
members of the many international
groups that visit the school each year—
he’s fostered partnerships with schools
in several other countries, including
Korea, Israel and South Africa.
;roughout the day, Goodwin tweets
about what’s happening at the school,
and often takes out his iPhone to photograph students and teachers. Since
joining Twitter in 2011, he’s amassed
1,800 followers. “READ!” began a recent
retweet of a Washington Post story about
civil penalties for parents who host
underage drinking parties.
Strolling the hallways that May morning, hands in the pockets of his dress
slacks, Goodwin dropped in on Kelly
Garton’s environmental science class to
chat with several students Garton had
taken to the 2016 Earth Day Network
Climate Leadership Gala in Washington, D.C., the night before. ;e students
excitedly told Goodwin that they met
the founder of Earth Day.
Bob Mathis, who taught social studies
for 15 years at Whitman before retiring
in June, says teachers appreciate that
Goodwin doesn’t hide out in his o;ce.
“He walks in and out of classrooms all
the time, not to say he’s got you, just to
point out something you’ve done well,”
Another afternoon, Goodwin sat at
his desk and answered some of the 200
or so emails he receives daily. A student
who was recovering from a concussion
sat at a round table at one end of his
o;ce. Still unable to focus in class, she
spent most of the school day hanging out
with him instead of staying home. As
sta;ers passed by his open o;ce doors,
they stuck their heads in to say hello or
ask a question. ;ough Goodwin’s open-door policy leads to lots of disruptions,
he knows it’s important to take the time
to talk to each person who stops by.
“You can be dealing with an issue in
your o;ce, and on a scale of one to 10,
it’s a nine, it’s very serious, and then a
teacher comes in with an issue that’s
a two. ‘;e Xerox machine is broken
again, Goodwin, can’t we fix it?’ ” he says.
“And you feel like, well, wait a minute.
I’m dealing with this. Can’t you just wait?
But if you don’t take it seriously, then a
two becomes a four or a five because the
teacher feels demoralized.”
ONE FRIDAY AFTERNOON last October,
Goodwin was finishing a few emails before
getting ready for a surprise get-together
he’d planned for six pregnant sta; members. Angie Cook, Goodwin’s secretary,
had contacted each of the women and
said that Goodwin wanted to see them,
but she didn’t explain why. “;ey all have
been freaking out,” Cook said.
The afternoon of the gathering,
Goodwin paused while working at his
computer to check a heart monitor—a
small device resembling a pager that was
attached to the belt of his taupe slacks.
Goodwin has had a heart arrhythmia
since he was 19, and he under went open-heart surgery five years ago. He hadn’t
had a problem since, and though he’d
felt fatigued throughout September—
the always-stressful opening month of
school—he’d been doing fine until the
previous week, when he felt his heart
skipping a beat and drove himself to the
emergency room at Suburban Hospital.
Goodwin was feeling more relaxed,
though, now that a doctor had assured
him he was OK. Still, his condition
spooked some sta; members who were
badly shaken when Michael Doran, the
principal at Wootton, died unexpectedly of a heart problem in August 2015.
Goodwin and Doran, who were close
friends, were about the same age. ;e
men had known each other for years
and had bonded over their shared
experiences running schools full of high-achieving students and their demanding