Kane wel­comed as new schools su­per­in­ten­dent

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

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.”

PHOTO BY HAN­NAH COMBS

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.

PHO­TOS BY HAN­NAH COMBS

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.

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