Administrative Corner  

Michael Burd  Michael Burd, Principal 

I am very pleased and excited to have the opportunity to return for my second year as principal of East Silver Spring Elementary School.  I am both honored and humbled to serve the students, staff, and families of East Silver Spring Elementary and to continue the tradition of excellence that has been established by the staff and community.  I am confident that as a united and collaborative school community, we will continue to make a difference in each child’s life. 

I look forward to building on the work we accomplished during the 2018-2019 school year.  In establishing a culturally responsive school, we are able to build strong relationships with one another and especially our students.  In a culturally responsive classroom, effective teaching and learning occur in a culturally supported, learner-centered context, whereby the strengths students bring to school are identified, nurtured, and utilized to promote student achievement.  This helps us in meeting the needs of all of our students and helping them progress, not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.  By providing clear expectations and being intentional in our planning, we will be able to achieve excellence.  We will be diligent in our actions and hold ourselves accountable with ongoing data monitoring.  This accountability will drive our school improvement work and help to continue the strong tradition of excellence at East Silver Spring. 

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.  I grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which is also the home of the Little League World Series.  I graduated from Williamsport High School in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and attended college at Shippensburg University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2003.   I began my teaching career at Round Hills Elementary, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, as a fourth grade teacher.  In 2005, I moved to Montgomery County and spent my first two years in MCPS as a third grade math and science teacher at Galway Elementary.  Next, I went to Stonegate Elementary where I taught both third and fourth grade for the next three years.  During that time period, I pursued a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Hood College.  After receiving my Master’s Degree, I began my administrative career as the assistant principal at Potomac Elementary, then Sherwood Elementary and Summit Hall Elementary.  Before becoming the principal at East Silver Spring Elementary School, I served as the Principal Intern at Captain James E. Daly, Jr. Elementary School in Germantown, MD.

I currently live in Potomac with my wife, Courtney, my three daughters, Jessica 17, Emily 14, and Chloe 5, and our two cats, Sheldon and Annie.  I am extremely proud of my family and love spending time with them.  I view the school community as an extension of family.  A family doesn’t have to have the same last name, look the same or be from the same place.  What is needed is to have one common goal in mind, and we will have that – the success of every student.  This sense of community will serve us well as we work together to meet the challenges of a new school year. 

As an instructional leader in MCPS for the past eight years, I have been able to shape my core values and fundamental beliefs that all students can achieve at high levels.  I have a commitment to rigorous high quality instruction for all students and have worked to help improve their instructional practices, which has resulted in significant increases in student performance.  As one of the leaders in the building, I plan to model transparency in order for all stakeholders to view me as a continuous learner.  I hope to help create a non-threatening, collaborative environment for teachers to develop relationships, examine instructional practices, increase capacity, and improve upon their teaching strategies and share best practices. 

Michael Burd  

Principal, East Silver Spring Elementary School 

 Justine Pfeiffer 3 Justine Pfeiffer, Assistant Principal

I am very honored to join the East Silver Spring ES family.  This community has such special qualities that make it a wonderful place to work.  I am excited to meet all of you this year!

Here is a little information about who I am.  I grew up in Germantown, Maryland and am the proud product of Montgomery County Public Schools.  I graduated from Watkins Mill High School and then went to Millersville University in Pennsylvania for college. I met my husband, Ron,  in college and stayed in Lancaster until 2007. We now live in Olney, Maryland with our three children. This coming school year, our son, Adam, will be a senior, our daughter, Emma, will be a junior, and Hailey will start second grade.

I began my teaching career teaching English as a Second Language and Spanish to elementary students in the School District of Lancaster. After two years, I moved into the classroom, where I taught fourth and fifth grades. We moved to Montgomery County where I have taught fifth grade at Sargent Shriver ES, third and fourth grades at Glenallan ES, and sixth grade social studies at Francis Scott Key MS. I have always sought change in order to add knowledge and experience to my understanding of how children learn best. The lessons learned at each of these wonderful schools has given me the courage to move forward into school leadership.

When I am not in school, you can find me with my family or in the gym. My children are athletes providing us with lots of wrestling, football, lacrosse, track, and cross country events! In addition to teaching challenges, I enjoy physical challenges as well. I have trained for a marathon, became a trained crossfit coach, and most recently given bodybuilding a try. I enjoy competition but mostly the thrill of setting a goal and working to meet it.

As I reflect on two decades of educating children, the four most important core values to me are: creating a strong community connection, building a safe learning environment, supporting risk and reflection, and finally, bringing and receiving joy every day. Schools should be a place where hard work is balanced with celebration. We should all continually try new ideas and create a broader understanding in order to grow into even better human beings. My hope for our school community is that we go home each night feeling supported in our efforts to grow and be challenged.