About Us

Genée A. Varlack, Ed.D.

Genée A. Varlack Principal genee_varlack@hcpss.org 410-880-5950
Greetings Forest Ridge! I am excited to partner with you in helping our students succeed in their journey to college and careers. My Name is Genée Varlack, Ed.D. I was born and raised in the United States Virgin Islands, where my roots are secured in a family of educators. Amidst family members who were teachers, professors, or a superintendent, I was destined to do what I have arrived at Forest Ridge to do. This year marks my 29th year as an educator with the Howard County Public School System! In that time, I have taught at Clemens Crossing Elementary, served as Assistant Principal at St. John's Lane Elementary, and also served as Assistant Principal and Principal at Guilford Elementary. I am a life-long learner and aim to make a difference in the lives of our children. I am excited to partner with you in that journey!

Danielle Shanks

Danielle Shanks Assistant Principal Danielle_Shanks@hcpss.org
The Ridge ROCKS! I have always wanted to be an educator and spent the majority of my elementary years playing "teacher" with my younger cousins (much to their dismay). I decided to go for the real thing and received my B.A. in Elementary Education from Towson University and my M.A. in Administration and Supervision from Loyola College. I started my career as an educator in HCPSS in 2002 at St. John's Lane Elementary. I then moved to Swansfield Elementary and taught 3rd and 4th grade. This is my seventh year as an administrator at Forest Ridge. My first two years were spent interning with a fabulous administrative team. At the start of 2013-14 school year I became the official assistant principal at FRES, which is now my "home away from home". When I am not at FRES watching over 700 + of my favorite little friends, I am watching over my thirteen year old son who is in his last year of middle school.

School Overview

Forest Ridge Elementary

Fast Facts:

  • Slogan: First Steps on the Path to College & Career

  • School Colors: Navy Blue & Yelow

  • School Mascot: Eagle (His name is Eddie!)

  • Student Day: 9:25am - 3:55pm

  • Doors open: 9:00am

  • Dismissal begins at: 3:40pm

Forest Ridge: By the Numbers!

1992- The year Forest Ridge opened its doors to the first group of students. Originally, the school was designed to eventually become a community center in case population growth in the area didn’t reach projections. Instead, population growth in the area has exceeded expectations leading to the need for other schools in the area to be built.


2- The number of additions made by renovating the building since it opened.


710- The current number of students enrolled at FRES


4- The number of staff members that have worked at FRES and continue to serve our students and community since it opened


21- The number of different languages represented by our students and families at FRES.


93- The number of staff members who dedicate each day to ensuring that our students are college and career ready when they leave high school!  


Maryland Green School Portfolio

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

MSDE Individual School Performance Report
The Individual School Performance Report for each school is provided by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and reflects the school's proficiency levels on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA).

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 1: Marcy Leonard

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.

FRES BOE Representative: Bess Altwerger, Ed.D.