Beloved Wootton High School principal remembered

Montgomery County Public Schools say the principal of Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville suddenly died on Wednesday.

Dr. Michael Doran was found unresponsive in his Bethesda apartment Wednesday morning and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards, according to the school system.

He was 62 years old.

Doran was the principal at Wootton for the past 12 years and also previously served as principal at Thomas W. Pyle Middle School in Bethesda. He has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for 18 years and has had a career in education spanning over four decades.

A celebration of life will be held at the school Friday at 6 p.m. Grief counselors are being provided at the school this week.

Board of Education President Patricia O'Neill and Vice President Michael Durso released the following statement:

"The sudden death of Dr. Michael J. Doran is a shock to the Montgomery County Public Schools community, and the entire Board of Education joins Dr. Doran's family, students, colleagues, and friends in grieving his loss.

"Dr. Doran was an exceptional principal who spent the past 12 years providing outstanding leadership to the students, staff, and parents of Thomas S. Wootton High School. He had high expectations for his students and staff and tirelessly provided the leadership, support, and encouragement they needed to meet those high expectations. He was a shining example of what a school leader should be and was an unapologetic advocate for his students.

"His vision and strong commitment, combined with a wonderful sense of empathy and a sharp wit, made him a beloved member of the Wootton community and every community in which he worked throughout his career. As we grieve his death today, we also remember the great work he did for students throughout his career and know that his legacy will live on for generations to come.

"The Board offers its condolences to Dr. Doran's family, friends, colleagues, and students during this very difficult time."

Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen also released a statement on Doran's death:

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Principal Michael Doran. His dedication to bettering the lives of his students lifted our entire community, and he left a permanent mark on Wootton High School and every student who passed through its hallways during his 12-year tenure as principal. As the next school year approaches and Wootton's students and teachers renew their commitment to academic success and personal enrichment, Principal Doran's legacy stands as an inspiration to us all to strive for excellence."