About Us

Debra O'Byrne

Debra O'Byrne Principal debra_o'byrne@hcpss.org

Sara Cox

Sara Cox Assistant Principal sara_cox@hcpss.org

School Overview

  • School Colors: Green & White

  • Mascot: Tiger

  • Motto: Working For Every Student


Historical Pictures of West Friendship

Local farmers helped dig the original site by using horse drawn scoops back in 1925. It was called the West Friendship Consolidated High School and it united several local one-room schoolhouses into one building servicing grades 1 - 9. The school was two stories high and had six classrooms with a center hall running down the middle of each floor. In 1928, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades were added. The first graduation class of 1930 consisted of thirteen students.

There were a total of one hundred students who attended the original school in 1925 and the first principal was a full time teacher. He often had to do triple duty by substituting for another teacher who was sick, as well as carry on his normal job requirements. If a teacher were absent from one of the lower grades, an older student would sometimes take charge. In order to qualify as a teacher, one could begin teaching immediately after high school at the age of seventeen or eighteen. That meant that teachers were often only a year or two older than some of their students. There were no vice principals until the 1930's.

Children often walked to school, were driven to school, or used a Huckster Bus for transportation. Huckster buses were vegetable and produce trucks with open sides. Each bus held 20 to 25 children and parents had to pay two dollars for the service. In 1928, Howard County offered bus service for its students. Lunches were not provided, so children brought a lunch, went home to eat, or went to Amos’s house next door where they could buy lunch for 15 to 20 cents.

The West Friendship area grew and grew over the next few decades and the school became an elementary school, housing grades one through seven. The school underwent renovations in 1950, 1962, 1971, 1978, 2002, and 2003. In 2002, West Friendship became a regional center for an Academic Life Skills program that serves students with multiple needs. Intensive instruction in the areas of functional academics, personal management, community living, communication, and interpersonal skills are emphasized in this wonderful program. In 2006, we began our first year with full-day kindergarten.  WFES is a certified Green School and a Healthy Howard School.  We won the Innovation Award for the Healthy Howard Schools initiative with our Waste Free Lunch program in 2009.  In July of 2010, we were awarded the Silver Award for our PBIS program.

Green School Certified Since 2007

West Friendship Elementary School became a certified Green School during the 2007 school year and we were recertified in May of 2010!  We will continue our green efforts this year with going "paperless" as much as possible - this includes putting our school newsletter and grade level newsletters online and not printing them out.  These efforts are in addition to the efforts we have continued since 2007.  These efforts include recycling cans & bottles, recycling printer ink cartridges, maintaining our nature trail, keeping our school grounds litter free, recycling paper, participating in the oyster reef project, participating in the horseshoe crab project, planting trees in our county's watershed areas, and conserving energy.

The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education Maryland Green School Awards Program is a holistic, integrated approach to authentic learning that incorporates local environmental issue investigation and professional development with environmental best management practices and community stewardship. 

MAEOE's Green School Awards Program celebrates Maryland's model environmental education efforts which combine classroom studies with the use of best management practices at schools and involve the community. These are noncompetitive awards to recognize and celebrate the achievement of schools meeting strict environmental education criteria.

All public and nonpublic schools in Maryland are eligible to participate. No special curriculum is needed. Schools must demonstrate that they meet criteria in the following areas:

  • School & Community : The school extends its learning into the community through a variety of projects ,which address local environmental issues.
  • Curriculum & Instruction : The school uses the environment as an integrating context or as an integral part of the school's instructional program.
  • Operation & Design : Best environmental practices are modeled in the operation and design of the school facility.

School Profile: West Friendship Elementary School
Fast facts about West Friendship ES listing special programs, total enrollment, accomplishments and more.

MSDE School Report Card
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) School Report Card reflects overall school performance using a combination of academic and school quality indicators.

Community Superintendent

With a focus on instruction as a birth-through-graduation continuum, Community Superintendents better position the school system to support students throughout their entire journey with HCPSS. View community superintendents by regional area.

Community Superintendent Area 3: Kendra V. Johnson, J.D., Ed.D.

Board of Education Representative

Howard County public schools are divided into school clusters, which are assigned to individual Board members to facilitate school visitations, attend special events, and provide a point of contact for each school community. View all BOE school cluster assignments.

WFES BOE Representative: Dr. Yun Lu