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