Baltimore Design School Hires New Principal

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Baltimore Design School, Maryland’s only transformational school dedicated to preparing middle and high school students for careers in design, has hired Dr. Melissa Patrylo as the school’s new principal. Dr. Patrylo joins BDS from her previous role as Partner of Small Schools by Design, a firm she co-founded, which developed the proposal to open BDS as a transformation school and which wrote the curriculum that earned approval from the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners.

Dr. Patrylo was selected after a nationwide search and was approved by the Baltimore City Public School System at the August School Board meeting. In her over three decades of service with Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, Dr. Patrylo served as a department chair, curriculum specialist, district supervisor of reading, district director, athletic coach, assistant principal and completed her career there as the principal of the School for Advanced Studies (SAS), the district’s dual-enrollment senior high school. In her capacity as district director, she was responsible for Project PHOENIX, the district’s $35 million government grant to rebuild schools following Hurricane Andrew. Dr. Patrylo completed her undergraduate work in French and German at Bowling Green State University, and holds a Master of Science degree in Reading, and a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership /Administration and Finance, both from the University of Miami. In 2000, Dr. Patrylo was awarded a knighthood by the government of France for more than 35 years of service to France. This award is recognized as one of France’s highest honors.

State Senator Catherine Pugh, founder and chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Baltimore Design School, appreciates the experience that Dr. Patrylo brings to BDS. “Dr. Patrylo’s decades of experience in design education and public school leadership in urban environments, and her involvement with BDS from the very beginning, make her the perfect choice to continue to ensure both academic and design excellence for BDS’ middle and high school students,” she said. “I’m grateful to the Search Committee, co-chaired by BDS board members Karen Carroll and Mary-Ann Pinkard, for choosing an exceptional principal whose experience will make the transition seamless for our wonderful, award-winning faculty and for our student designers,” Senator Pugh added.

Graduates of The Baltimore Design School, “Designing Baltimore one student at a time,” will be prepared to enter vigorous college programs and careers in a variety of design fields. The school moved into its award-winning specially designed facility in the Station North Arts district last fall. Limited opportunities are still available for students entering the sixth through ninth grades to join BDS this fall. Parents and students interested in learning more can visit the school’s website at or call Tracy Deemer, Executive Director, at 443-642-2311.

Edited from Press Release

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