Superintendent finalists named by school board
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