Pub­lic tries sug­ges­tions for new su­per­in­ten­dent

Record Observer - - Front Page - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­

CEN­TRE­VILLE — Only six mem­bers of the pub­lic at­tended a fo­rum on char­ac­ter­is­tics they wanted in a new su­per­in­ten­dent for the Queen Anne’s Pub­lic Schools. But they were big on ideas. A con­sul­tant to the school dis­trict held a pub­lic fo­rum on Wed­nes­day, Oct. 5, and sub­mit­ted three ques­tions to two dif­fer­ent groups — the pub­lic and the staff.

One ques­tion asked the par­tic­i­pants to name three to five qual­i­ties, char­ac­ter­is­tics, and skills they would like to see in a new su­per­in­ten­dent. The mem­bers from the pub­lic made many sug­ges­tions be­yond what was asked.

Their top five were an in­no­va­tive su­per­in­ten­dent, strong in­struc­tional leader, ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tor, proven track record of databased de­ci­sions, and per­sonal in­tegrity. But the group also wanted the su­per­in­ten­dent to have a vi­sion for the county and be grounded in in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion.

The group also wanted the su­per­in­ten­dent to have a doc­tor­ate de­gree, ex­pe­ri­enced as a school based ad­min­is­tra­tor such as a principal, and a col­lab­o­ra­tive leader with ex­pe­ri­ence build­ing teams.

L. Michelle John­son of In­gle­side said her fa­vorites were ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tor and in­struc­tional leader. She also talked about datadriven lead­er­ship as im­por­tant.

“It goes with in­no­va­tion, some­one who is data-driven,” John­son said. “There are cer­tain in­struc­tional strate­gies that are proven and that are in­clu­sive. An in­struc­tional leader [is needed] where true teach­ing and learn­ing are go­ing on in the class­room.”

Bryan Holocker of Cen­tre­ville didn’t have a fa­vorite on the list. “They were all well-thought-out char­ac­ter­is­tics. It would be hard to pick one from the oth­ers,” he said.

In an­swer­ing another ques­tion, the group from the pub­lic also thought of chal­lenges the new su­per­in­ten­dent will face, in­clud­ing restor­ing con­fi­dence in the school dis­trict, work­ing with non-ed­u­ca­tors, ex­pec­ta­tions of be­ing avail­able to the com­mu­nity, bring­ing unity back to the schools, fis­cal re­straints and the bud­get, and a work­load that’s re­quired and ex­pected.

The group was also asked to list two or three things that make Queen Anne’s County a spe­cial place for the su­per­in­ten­dent to work, live, and learn. Their list in­cluded the county be­ing near the wa­ter, the county is ru­ral, yet ac­ces­si­ble to cities, a small town feel, the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion’s of­fice is ac­ces­si­ble to stu­dents, staff and par­ents, and the county is a close-knit com­mu­nity.

The staff was asked the same ques­tions. About nine staff mem­bers at­tended.

Of­fi­cials from the Mary­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Boards of Ed­u­ca­tion (MABE) took the an­swers the staff gave be­fore the press could see them and wouldn’t re­lease them.

MABE is help­ing with the search for the su­per­in­ten­dent and con­ducted the fo­rum.

Af­ter­wards, Janet Pauls, in­terim as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent, com­mented about what she wants in a su­per­in­ten­dent. She par­tic­i­pated in an­swer­ing the ques­tions about the qual­i­ties the staff wanted in a su­per­in­ten­dent.

“We re­ally need some­one who is go­ing to be an in­te­gral part of the com­mu­nity and sup­port di­ver­sity and con­tinue the progress the dis­trict has made,” Pauls said.

The county’s Board of Ed­u­ca­tion will use re­sponses to the ques­tions to shape their re­cruit­ing process for a new su­per­in­ten­dent. The po­si­tion of the su­per­in­ten­dent for Queen Anne’s County Pub­lic Schools will be ad­ver­tised start­ing in Novem­ber with ap­pli­ca­tions due by the end of Jan­uary.

In Fe­bru­ary and March, ap­pli­cants will be re­viewed, ranked, and screened, with some can­di­dates hav­ing an ini­tial, stan­dard­ized in­ter­view for the post.

Once the search has nar­rowed fur­ther, a smaller pool of can­di­dates will have a sec­ond, more open-ended in­ter­view. Af­ter the sec­ond in­ter­view, there will be a few fi­nal­ists, each of whom will spend a day in the dis­trict. Fo­cus groups from within the school system and com­mu­nity will have the op­por­tu­nity to meet with each fi­nal­ist.

The board’s goal is to choose the top can­di­date for su­per­in­ten­dent around April 1, and vote to ap­point the cho­sen can­di­date. The new su­per­in­ten­dent would start work on July 1, 2017.


Vera Wol­ski, para­pro­fes­sional at Stevensville Mid­dle School and vice pres­i­dent of the Queen Anne’s County Ed­u­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, left, and Stephanie MacKen­zie, sev­enth grade teacher at Stevensville Mid­dle School, at­tend an Oct. 5 fo­rum on select­ing a new su­per­in­ten­dent.


L. Michelle John­son of In­gle­side, left, and Bryan Holocker of Cen­tre­ville were among mem­bers of the pub­lic who at­tended a Wed­nes­day, Oct 5, fo­rum about the search for a new su­per­in­ten­dent.

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