James Allrich is a student-centered leader committed to ensuring the success of each child through high expectations, collaboration, equitable access and excellence in teaching and learning. He has been a principal at Argyle Magnet Middle School of Digital Design and Development for five years, an administrator for seven years and a teacher for eleven years.
He began his career as an educator in New Jersey, teaching high school mathematics where he just started learning about how to use technology to leverage learning and access for students. After his time in the New Jersey classroom, he held several positions that framed his current vision as a principal and digital leader, including roles as a Staff Development Teacher, Math Resource Teacher and Assistant Principal. After eleven years in the secondary math classroom, he spent 5 years as an assistant principal in Montgomery County before advancing to high school to be a principal intern and then a middle school principal. He leads as a principal through the lens of a reflective teacher and lifetime learner.
Mr. Allrich exhibits his core values of Respect, Excellence and Authenticity through his relationships and daily interactions with students, staff, and parents. He uses technology to make those values come alive. Whether it is through the “Principal’s Corner” his weekly video message to students, his weekly email/newsletter/phone message to families, or his community partnerships which creates innovative experiences for students, he always keeps student learning and his values as the center of his leadership.
Mr. Allrich is very focused on building the capacity of the next generation of administrators, participating in the Future Administrators Workshop since 2016 as well as being an Assistant Principal developer, assistant principal coach and supporting other principals with the use of technology. He delivers professional learning experiences to his colleagues by conducting training sessions for administrators. More recently he led the workshop, “Climate, Culture and Community: Cultivating an environment of resilience and positivity.” He has led many tech workshops for administrators and has sent many “How-to” documents to his principal colleagues to model the use of new technology tools, specifically during this time of distance learning. Mr. Allrich also serves as a member of the advisory group to the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) where he provides feedback to new district-wide technology and implementation strategies. He was the co-chair of the African American Student Achievement Action Group which provides a forum between African American stakeholders and Montgomery County Public Schools to work collaboratively on eliminating the African American opportunity gap.
As the principal of Montgomery County’s only whole-school technology magnet middle school, he has moved the school from a school that is learning to use technology to a school that uses technology to learn. During his tenure at Argyle, he has used technology to lead staff in the implementation of Universal Design of Learning (UDL), differentiation strategies and more recently the use of blended learning as a whole school model to increase student engagement in learning.
Mr. Allrich’s dedication to equity, excellence and innovative use of technology was highlighted when he was named Montgomery County Public School ESOL Principal of the Year in 2019. A graduate of Rutgers University, with a bachelor’s in Mathematics, Mr. Allrich received his master’s in educational leadership at Kean University in New Jersey.