Superintendent White visits schools to welcome new school year
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.