Kane welcomed as new schools superintendent
CENTREVILLE — New Queen Anne’s County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Andrea Kane was welcomed warmly at a reception held in her honor Thursday, July 27, at the Kennard Cultural Heritage Center.
Assistant Superintendent Gregor y Pilewski said he welcomed Kane and the opportunity to work with her and learn from her, as they work toward making Queen Anne’s County schools the best in the state of Maryland.
Following introductory remarks and light refreshments Kane met in small groups with the stakeholders who attended the reception. The “meet and greet” coordinated by Marchelle Ryans, finance clerk at QACPS, is anticipated to be the first in a series.
In addition, comment cards were placed on the tables. Jacqueline Wright, executive assistant to Kane, said they welcomed the opportunity to hear and respond to thoughts and suggestions.
School board members Sharyn Harlow and Beverly Kelley spoke briefly at the beginning of the reception. Welcoming Kane, Harlow also commented on the good fortune that none of the schools were damaged during the recent tornado and that they were able to use the facilities
to open immediately to the public as needed.
“We have come together as a community,” said Kelly, “the same as we have in our schools ... what has been some difficult times, but we have gone forward and what has come of that is a greater sense of community,” likening the coming together of the county in the aftermath of the storm to the past school year. “We are excited to have Dr. Kane with new ideas and new thoughts.”
In addition to the many community members and QACPS staff, County Commissioners Jim Moran and Mark Anderson also attended the reception. Kennard Alumni Association President Clayton Washington said he was pleased to have host the reception at Kennard. The goal for the center is to be a cog in the wheel of the community, Washington said, adding the center looks forward to partnering with schools, and board members hope the center will be able to be a resource and provide a space where young people can be encouraged.
“If we give them opportunity, there is no limit to what they can do,” Washington said.
Janet Pauls, last school year’s interim assistant superintendent, also spoke, welcoming Kane on this “historic moment in Queen Anne’s history ... as we publicly welcome the first African American Superintendent of Schools.” Kane received a standing ovation.
Pauls said, “It is a distinct pleasure, and fitting to be standing here [the former Kennard High School] where 50 years ago, this very room was my second grade classroom.”
Kane, Pilewski and Pauls all worked together in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Pauls said, adding she was pleased to have both Kane and Pilewski here in Queen Anne’s County. Kane was joined at the reception by family, friends, and colleagues from Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, and Richmond, in support of her new position.
Those supporters are a testament to Kane’s quality learning service and her strong advocacy for her students, Pauls said. Kane is now a resident of Queen Anne’s County and attends Fresh Start Church, Pauls added.
Kane graciously accepted the warm welcome. “Thank you,” she said, “and thank you to my Father above ... I recognize where my blessings come from. It is not an easy task in front of me. I recognize who I am and whose I am.”
Kane said her transition had been as smooth as any superintendent could hope for, in large part due to Pilewski’s efforts in holding together a district that was going through transition.
Kane said she had started her “listening tour” and met with several groups, including the police chief, County Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce, as well as administrators and several teachers already.
“It takes all of us,” said Kane, as she addressed the group assembled. “There is no me without out you. I would not have a job without you ... and I am grateful to you, and grateful for your support.”
Kane said she is a very collaborative individual and is looking forward to gathering perspective and listening to the voices within the school and community.
“There may come a time when we aren’t in agree-ance [sic],” said Kane, “but know that my number one priority is always children first, then our employees and citizens.”
Kane said she was taken aback, when she learned of the significance of the Kennard Cultural Heritage Center, what it was and what it had become.
“I am beyond grateful,” said Kane of her opportunity to be the first African American to hold the position of superintendent within Queen Anne’s County Schools. “This is historic, we will remember and tell our children and grandchildren about this.”
Of the position of superintendent, Kane said, “[This is] not [only] my job, but who I am.”
As Kane prepares to take on her first year as superintendent, she said while there are many things excellent and outstanding in Queen Anne’s County schools, there are some things that need work.
“If you are doing great work, keep doing great work,” said Kane. “If you are doing OK, then you’ve got to step it up.”
Kane said, there is nothing to accept unless it is the best.
“...does not matter gender, race, socioeconomic status, ZIP code, each student will receive the best. The very best. And that is just the way it is going to be,” Kane said. “That’s what they deserve and that is what we are going to give them.”
Dr. Andrea Kane, new superintendent of Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, addresses community members and colleagues July 27.
Janet Pauls, left, with Dr. Andrea Kane (hidden) greet Marchelle Ryans, coordinator of the event to welcome Kane.
Members of the community gather July 27 to greet Dr. Andrea Kane, new superintendent of schools.
Queen Anne’s County Assistant Superintendent of Schools Greg Pilewski welcomes Dr. Andrea Kane at a “meet and greet” held at the Kennard Cultural Heritage Center.