Editor's note: Jennifer Mears, the Rockville High School Class of 2012 salutatorian, reflects on the tenure of RHS principal Eric Baim, who is stepping down at the end of the fiscal year.
To the Editor:
I have recently been informed that my favorite principal, Mr. Eric Baim, has decided to pursue other opportunities after this school year. As a recent graduate of RHS, I owe Mr. Baim a great deal of gratitude for all that he taught me in my four years as a student there.
Mr. Baim is one of the most inspirational and relatable people I have ever met. In my time at Rockville, he taught me so much about being a good student, a good citizen and most importantly a good person. When I was in high school, I constantly was amazed by how he was able to demand respect with a friendly, equalizing attitude. He made students feel important and I have come to know that this is one of the most important aspects of being a leader.
People only exist in relation to each other and it is critical that every person feels they have a purpose and place to belong. He taught me that. There were countless times that I saw him take the time out of his busy day to say hi to the quiet kids in the corner or to offer a high five to the kids who would rather be anywhere but school. He was always encouraging and always looking for his students to succeed.
This was evident in the many extracurricular activities he supported. I saw him everywhere from sporting events to poetry readings and I always felt so supported as a student to have my principal make the effort to watch all of the work we put into our school, knowing he put in three times the amount every day.
With the combination of his authoritative presence and caring demeanor, he gave students a reason to believe in themselves and a reason to believe in RHS. He inspired me to attempt to change that school for the better with the opportunities I had been blessed with and for this I am very grateful.
He believed in me when everyone else saw my ambitions impossible. He taught me to fight for what I believe in and to be proud of where I come from. Even if we lost the game or got low test scores, he never gave up hope on RHS. This is the inspiration many people need. They need to know that someone believes in their potential to be something more and Mr. Baim always did. He is the confident and collected man who takes what life hands him and makes the best of it. He is the man you look to in times of distress to lighten the mood and solve the problem at the same time.
He has shown through example how to be a leader, how to help those who need it, and how to stand up after you've been knocked down. He always showed us to do what we know is right and to take responsibility for our actions because it is our lives and the lives of those we love that are effected.
The truth is that all of our lives are better because we had Mr. Baim as a principal, as a role model and, if we were fortunate enough, as a friend.
So, thank you, Mr. Baim, from all my fellow RHS students and graduates and I, for all you have done in your years at RHS. You have truly made that school a better environment to grow and learn. As you leave RHS, I hope you realize what I had to a year ago: RHS will always be a part of who you are and a place you can always return to as home. Now the world needs you to move on and initiate a positive change for another group of people as you did for us. You will always be an inspiration to RHS and to myself. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!