Su­per­in­ten­dent fi­nal­ists named by school board

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CAM­BRIDGE — The Dorch­ester County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion an­nounced three fi­nal­ists for the po­si­tion of Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools, to be­gin with the 2017-2018 school year.

The re­tire­ment of cur­rent Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Henry V. Wag­ner will be ef­fec­tive Satur­day, July 1, a de­ci­sion he an­nounced Dec. 15, 2016.

The school board has set a goal of se­lect­ing the new su­per­in­ten­dent by Thurs­day, June 1, with the po­si­tion to of­fi­cially be­gin Satur­day, July 1.

Dorch­ester County na­tive and long-time ed­u­ca­tor, Vaughn D. Evans, Sr. has been named a fi­nal­ist. He was a North Dorch­ester High School Class of 1978 grad­u­ate. He earned his bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Ele­men­tary Ed­u­ca­tion and a mas­ter’s de­gree in Ad­min­is­tra­tion/Su­per­vi­sion from Bowie State Univer­sity, and has be­gun work on a doc­tor­ate in Ed­u­ca­tional Lead­er­ship from the same univer­sity.

Evans has been an ed­u­ca­tor for 34 years, with 15 of those years spent in the class­room. He taught at the ele­men­tary and mid­dle schools lev­els, and since work­ing in Dorch­ester County has served as prin­ci­pal at the ele­men­tary, mid­dle, and high school lev­els.

Ac­cord­ing to DCPS, Evans is widely known as a prin­ci­pal who can turn chal­leng­ing schools around by in­clud­ing all stake­hold­ers with re­la­tion­ship build­ing, pro­vid­ing ef­fec­tive dis­ci­pline, and in­struc­tional lead­er­ship.

Dur­ing his ten­ure at North Dorch­ester High School, the school ex­ited School Im­prove­ment sta­tus, ranked in the top 13 per­cent of all schools in the state in Al­ge­bra scores, and earned the

Bronze Medal for Aca­demic Achieve­ment in the US News and World Re­port, DCPS said.

He is an ac­tive mem­ber in the com­mu­nity serv­ing on the Pat Hop­kins Schol­ar­ship Com­mit­tee Board of Di­rec­tors, Life Mem­ber of the NAACP, Life Mem­ber of the Bowie State Univer­sity Na­tional Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion, Mt. Hope United Methodist Church mem­ber, af­fil­i­ate mem­ber of Hur­lock United Methodist Church, Chair­man of Hur­lock Board of Ap­peals, past mem­ber of Prince Hall Ma­sonic Lodge (Vic­to­ria No. 71) and past mem­ber of Hur­lock Lions Club.

The next fi­nal­ist is Dr. Michael Collins, also a Dorch­ester County na­tive and prod­uct of the pub­lic school sys­tem. He earned his bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Ele­men­tary Ed­u­ca­tion from Sal­is­bury Univer­sity in 2001, but he be­gan his ed­u­ca­tional ca­reer in 1999 as a sub­sti­tute with DCPS.

Post-grad­u­a­tion, he be­gan teach­ing in Caro­line County and work­ing to earn his mas­ter’s de­gree in School Ad­min­is­tra­tion, which he re­ceived in 2003 from SU. Collins earned his doc­toral de­gree in Ed­u­ca­tional Lead­er­ship from Wilm­ing­ton Univer­sity in 2011.

He served as an Ele­men­tary School ad­min­is­tra­tor for eight years in Wi­comico County Pub­lic Schools, five of those years as a prin­ci­pal.

Collins re­turned to Dorch­ester County Pub­lic Schools in 2013, and has been prin­ci­pal of Mace’s Lane Mid­dle School since 2015.

The fi­nal can­di­date for con­sid­er­a­tion is Dr. Diana Mitchell who cur­rently serves as the As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent for In­struc­tional Tech­nol­ogy with Harrison School District 2 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Mitchell has 23 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, 19 of which were with the Prince Ge­orge’s County Pub­lic School sys­tem where she served as a high school teacher, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal, ele­men­tary and mid­dle school prin­ci­pal, and re­gional in­struc­tional spe­cial­ist sup­port­ing K-12 schools.

She earned her bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Busi­ness Ed­u­ca­tion from St. Au­gus­tine’s Univer­sity, a mas­ter’s de­gree in Ed­u­ca­tional Ad­min­is­tra­tion from Iowa State Univer­sity and a doc­tor­ate de­gree in Ed­u­ca­tional Lead­er­ship with a mi­nor in Tech­nol­ogy from Bowie State Univer­sity.

Mitchell has a back­ground in teach­ing and learn­ing, data man­age­ment, bud­get­ing, and in­struc­tional tech­nol­ogy/as­sess­ment man­age­ment. As the As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent for In­struc­tional Tech­nol­ogy, Mitchell has spent the past four years sup­port­ing the district’s “any­time any­where learn­ing” ini­tia­tive for Col­lege and Ca­reer readi­ness by im­ple­ment­ing the district’s first 1:1 pro­gram. She also ini­ti­ated a part­ner­ship with the Sprint Con­netED pro­gram and Com­cast to pro­vide in­ter­net ser­vices for stu­dents with­out in­ter­net ac­cess at home.

Each can­di­date will spend a “Day in the District,” meet­ing with fo­cus groups, tour­ing DCPS, hav­ing lunch with stu­dents, time spent with me­dia, and din­ner and di­a­logue with the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

Evans will have his day on Tues­day, May 9, Collins on Wed­nes­day, May 10, and Mitchell on Thurs­day, May 11.

Wag­ner’s term as su­per­in­ten­dent was orig­i­nally set to run through June 30, 2018, as per his four-year con­tract that was re­newed in Fe­bru­ary 2014.

He was first ap­pointed to the po­si­tion in July 2010, and had served as As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent for In­struc­tion in Dorch­ester County prior to be­com­ing Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools.

“I make this de­ci­sion be­cause of com­pelling per­sonal, fam­ily, and pro­fes­sional con­sid­er­a­tions — and with a va­ri­ety of mixed emo­tions,” Wag­ner said in a let­ter. “Sim­ply stated, it is time for me to em­bark upon the next en­ter­prises of my life and ca­reer.

“I am proud of the fact that, as a team, we have ad­vanced in the ar­eas that mat­ter most: grad­u­a­tion and earned schol­ar­ship money,” Wag­ner said as to his proud­est achieve­ments dur­ing his ten­ure. That pro­vides the best pos­si­bil­i­ties for our stu­dents to suc­ceed in life.”

To con­duct the search for Wag­ner’s re­place­ment, the school board sought the help of the Mary­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Boards of Ed­u­ca­tion (MABE). Two stake­holder meet­ings were hosted by MABE in Fe­bru­ary to de­ter­mine the qual­i­ties to look for in a can­di­date, as de­sired by teach­ers, par­ents, staff, busi­ness lead­ers, and other com­mu­nity stake­holder groups.

In March, the open­ing was posted widely so that qual­i­fied lo­cal, state, and na­tional can­di­dates would ap­ply, with the first con­sid­er­a­tion of ap­pli­ca­tions to MABE by March 27. The school board con­ducted two rounds of in­ter­views to se­lect the three fi­nal­ists for ex­ten­sive in­ter­views May 9 to May 11 with var­i­ous stake­holder fo­cus groups. The groups will pro­vide in­put to the school board as it pre­pares to choose the new su­per­in­ten­dent.

DR. MICHAEL COLLINS

VAUGHN D. EVANS, SR.

DR. DIANA MITCHELL

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