Ce­cil Co.’s Devine named Md. Su­per­in­ten­dent of the Year

The Star Democrat - - LOCAL - By JES­SICA IAN­NETTA jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

OCEAN CITY — Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent D’Ette Devine has been named the Mary­land Su­per­in­ten­dent of the Year by AASA: The School Su­per­in­ten­dents As­so­ci­a­tion.

Devine, who has served as su­per­in­ten­dent since 2010, re­ceived the award at the con­clud­ing ban­quet of the Mary­land Ne­go­ti­a­tion Ser­vice Con­fer­ence Nov. 2 in Ocean

City. The win­ner of the an­nual award is cho­sen by a panel of for­mer su­per­in­ten­dents of the year and must be nom­i­nated by his or her board of ed­u­ca­tion and lead­er­ship team.

As the state win­ner, Devine will go on to rep­re­sent Mary­land in the Na­tional Su­per­in­ten­dent of the Year process. In Fe­bru­ary, Devine and her 49 fel­low win­ners will also be rec­og­nized at the AASA na­tional con­ven­tion.

Hav­ing the sup­port and re­spect of her fel­low su­per­in­ten­dents and her lo­cal team made re­ceiv­ing the award es­pe­cially grat­i­fy­ing, Devine said Nov. 3. But be­yond that, Devine said she hopes the award will shine a light on the good work CCPS does.

“It’s very pos­i­tive for our school sys­tem and our county. We’re the 14th largest (school sys­tem) in the state, so we don’t al­ways get some of the recog­ni­tion of the larger sys­tems, and this is just kind of a good, pos­i­tive thing for ev­ery­body,” she said. “My achieve­ment is not an in­di­vid­ual one per se. It’s a school board that keeps kids’ in­ter­ests in the fore­front of all the de­ci­sions they make, the hard work­ing lead­er­ship team, it’s CCPS fam­i­lies, it’s ev­ery­body’s award. It’s grat­i­fy­ing for me af­ter all these years to have that recog­ni­tion for our school sys­tem.”

To re­ceive the award, nom­i­nees must un­dergo a lengthy process, which in­volves writ­ing es­says, so­lic­it­ing let­ters of sup­port and film­ing a video mes­sage. One of the let­ters came from school board Pres­i­dent Dawn Branch who wrote that Devine rep­re­sents the “very best of pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.”

“Un­der her lead­er­ship we have seen a steady in­crease in grad­u­a­tion rates, a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in dropout rates, and Ce­cil County just re­ceived no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the most im­proved PARCC per­for­mance in the state of Mary­land for both English Lan­guage Arts and Math­e­mat­ics,” she wrote.

An­other let­ter came from County Ex­ec­u­tive Alan McCarthy who touted Devine’s “per­sonal drive and per­se­ver­ance to achieve great ac­com­plish­ments for those she is charged to serve.”

“Dr. Devine has used her life’s ex­pe­ri­ences to make her­self a strong and ef­fec­tive child ad­vo­cate work­ing to en­sure that each suc­ceeds upon grad­u­a­tion from high school,” he wrote.

Devine, an Elk­ton High School alumna, is cur­rently in her 42nd year at CCPS. She worked her way up from a world lan­guages teacher to the high­est po­si­tion in the school sys­tem. In ad­di­tion to her ten­ure in Ce­cil County, Devine has been ac­tive in ed­u­ca­tion at the state level and cur­rently serves as pres­i­dent of the Pub­lic School Su­per­in­ten­dents As­so­ci­a­tion of Mary­land. She also is a mem­ber of the P-20 Ed­u­ca­tion Lead­er­ship Coun­cil af­ter be­ing ap­pointed by the gov­er­nor in 2014.

This also marks the sec­ond award of the year for Devine, who was re­cently named the Mary­land School Safety Su­per­in­ten­dent of the Year by the Mary­land Cen­ter for School Safety.

D’ETTE DEVINE

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