Su­per­in­ten­dent White vis­its schools to wel­come new school year

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

To ring in the first week of the new school year, newly ap­pointed Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent Ver­letta White vis­ited area schools to meet stu- dents and staff and dis­cuss the semesters ahead.

On Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 6, sev­eral east Bal­ti­more County schools opened their

door to White and her staff.

Her first stop was Ch­e­sa­peake High School where she spoke to Prin­ci­pal Jess Grim and walked the hall­ways and talked to stu­dents and teach­ers.

Fol­low­ing this, she made a stop at Seneca Ele­men­tary School in Mid­dle River, a place that White is no stranger to.

She proudly re­calls her time serv­ing as the school’s prin­ci­pal from 2000-2006.

“Seneca def­i­nitely holds a spot in her heart,” said cur­rent Seneca Ele­men­tary School prin­ci­pal, Jason Feiler.

As she walked through the school, she was greeted by teach­ers who knew her through­out her ca­reer.

D. My­chael Dick­er­son, the Chief Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer for BCPS, jok­ingly calls her trips to the schools “the hug tour.”

“She knows so many peo­ple ev­ery place we go. They went to school to­gether, or they taught to­gether,” he said, adding that she’s been in­volved with the school sys­tem for so long that she seems to know ev­ery­body.

As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Lauren Stu­art said that some of the peo­ple White hired nearly 2 decades ago are still at Seneca.

“She’s so down-to-earth, and that’s what you want for some­one in that po­si­tion. You want some­one who can talk to peo­ple and re­late to them and ask you about your fam­ily and how you’re do­ing,” she said.

Af­ter Seneca, White vis­ited Ken­wood High School.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for the kids and our staff. We’re do­ing some tremen­dous things here at Ken­wood,” said Brian Pow­ell, the prin­ci­pal of Ken­wood High School, ref­er­enc­ing the high school’s im­proved SAT scores and at­ten­dance rate. “We’re just build­ing up our over­all school cul­ture.”

He said be­ing ac­knowl­edged by BCPS rep­re­sen­ta­tives like White in­spires and mo­ti­vates staff while let­ting the stu­dents see that their hard work is be­ing ac­knowl­edged and ap­pre­ci­ated.

White and Pow­ell sat in sev­eral classes at Ken­wood, in­clud­ing an AP His­tory lec­ture, and after­ward they walked the hall­ways trad­ing teach­ing tips and dis­cussing the changes they can ex­pect dur­ing the 2017-18 school year.

“Some of the fun­da­men­tal things that we’re put­ting in place here can be taken to other schools. It’s just a won­der­ful thing to be able to show­case all the great things our teach­ers, staff, and stu­dents are do­ing,” said Pow­ell.

White at­tended Bal­ti­more County schools through­out her child­hood. She at­tended Wood­moor Ele­men­tary School and Wood­lawn Mid- dle School be­fore grad­u­at­ing from Wood­lawn High School.

Her one-year term be­gan on July 1, fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of for­mer su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. S. Dal­las Dance in April.

She earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in ed­u­ca­tion from Tow­son Univer­sity and a mas­ter’s de­gree in lead­er­ship in teach­ing from Notre Dame of Mary­land Univer­sity. She is cur­rently a doc­toral can­di­date, pur­su­ing a phD in ur­ban ed­u­ca­tional lead­er­ship at Morgan State Univer­sity.

White started her ca­reer as Bal­ti­more City ele­men­tary school teacher in 1992 be­fore mak­ing the leap to BCPS in 1995.

White moved from the class­room to a school ad­min­is­tra­tor role in 1998. She moved to BCPS head­quar­ters in 2006, serv­ing as a co­or­di­na­tor of pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment be­fore mov­ing to the su­per­in­ten­dent’s se­nior staff the same year,

As chief aca­demic of­fi­cer since 2013, White has been re­spon­si­ble, a BCPS re­lease noted, for “defin­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing the vi­sion of the school sys­tem while di­rect­ing a di­vi­sion of more than 500 cur­ricu­lum and stu­dent sup­port staff.”

In ad­di­tion to her role with BCPS, White has been an ad­junct pro­fes­sor at Goucher Col­lege and of­fered na­tional pre­sen­ta­tions on ed­u­ca­tional pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment. She is also on the RTM K-12 Ad­vi­sory Board and is a mem­ber of the Cen­ter for Dig­i­tal Ed­u­ca­tion Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee.

For his part, Board of Ed­u­ca­tion chair Ed­ward J. Gil­liss praised White, stat­ing, “As a dis­trict-level ad­min­is­tra­tor for more than a decade and as the chief aca­demic of­fi­cer for the last four years, she has been an in­te­gral part of both en­sur­ing the sta­bil­ity of the school sys­tem and ac­cel­er­at­ing the aca­demic progress of its stu­dents.”

As in­terim su­per­in­ten­dent, White will hold the po­si­tion for a one-year term, pend­ing ap­proval by the state schools su­per­in­ten­dent.

White with Seneca Ele­men­tary School prin­ci­pal Jason Feiler.

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