Modell hired as liasion
CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County school system has added the part-time position of community liaison for educational equity — a position to help develop multicultural equity between home, school and community.
Ed Modell of Queenstown is the community liaison.
“This position is incredibly important to me,” said Modell. He added he believes that the culmination of his past work experience will allow him to participate in the school system and community in unique ways; he anticipates being called upon to
bring his mediation and professional coaching skills into otherwise difficult to resolve situations.
Modell has had a lengthy and successful career in law with an emphasis on alternative dispute resolution and leadership coaching. He has served in the Air Force and started an ACLU chapter in the 1970s, and has also had a long career in community relations, serving on various county and community committees including the Multicultural Proficiency Committee in Queen Anne’s County.
Modell has also played a key role in implementing the “Sunday Supper” meal concept in Queen Anne’s County with other community leaders and “Conversations on Race” a forum aiming, Modell said, “to build a community of goodwill across races and move beyond mere tolerance to a more beloved community. The primary goal is to identify issues that exist in our educational community related to race, and to work cooperatively in creating solutions.”
“As we continue our conversations on race,” said Modell, “we feel that the educational community plays such an important role in enhancing the community in which we live. We have the ability to preserve the good that exists in our community, while drawing out and addressing the challenges that we collectively face.”
This is a part-time position as support staff and does not currently require a contract, although Modell believes it has the potential to become a full-time, permanent position.
QACPS has adopted an Education that is Multicultural Program policy that will endeavor to “prepare students to live, learn, interact and work creatively in an interdependent global society by fostering mutual appreciation and respect,” Modell said. The program, and Modell in his position as community liaison, will encourage school personnel to develop a better understanding of multicultural needs.
Under the supervision of a task force and steering committee, led by Interim Superintendent Greg Pilewski and central office staff, reporting to the Board of Education, the Education that is Multicultural Program will continue to develop and implement a five-year plan.
The position of a human relations liaison, similar to the community liaison position that Modell now fills, was first introduced in a race equity profile conducted by the Maryland State Department of Education in 1994, Modell said. The recent curriculum audit made a similar recommendation.
The steering committee has identified several areas to focus on: creating a visual environment within the schools that is inclusive of diverse students and cultures; demonstrating a clear mission of success or positive outcomes for all students regardless of race, gender ... or socioeconomic status, i.e. improving the number of diverse students in A.P. classes; hiring more teachers of color; and evaluating the number of diverse students receiving disciplinary actions, be it unconscious or implicit bias, he said.
Modell identified 7 percent of the QACPS student population as African-American and 3 percent Hispanic.
Modell will work actively with staff to cultivate cultural competence, diversity and inclusion.
Anyone can come directly to him, Modell said, and he plans to make himself as accessible as possible. This [program and position] is a work in progress, he said, but he anticipates having the most impact in the area of interpersonal disputes and starting “courageous conversations.”
Pilewski said in a statement, “I am proud to announce that Mr. Ed Modell will serve as our part-time community liaison for educational equity. He will be instrumental in deepening our work around multicultural education, diversity, community relations, and implementing recommendations from the curriculum management audit.
We are excited to have Mr. Modell join our QACPS team. He is an exceptional person and professional who will serve as a bridge between the school system and our communities. Mr. Modell is a tremendous asset to our county.”
Ed Modell is the new community liaison for educational equity for Queen Anne’s County Public Schools.