While the state board of education is moving along in its process of finding a new Maryland superintendent of schools, Charles County is also making progress in its search for a new county superintendent, making available a survey to the public to help determine the most desired characteristics for the position.
Charles public schools’ Superintendent Kim Hill announced last November that she would not seek a new contract when her current four-year contract expires in June. Hill has been superintendent of the 27,000-student school district since 2013.
Hill was named the school district’s principal of the year following her time at North Point High School in Waldorf. She also served as vice principal at several schools in the county. She began her education career teaching social studies at Maurice J. McDonough High School in Pomfret.
According to the school system’s website, the district became a model for computer science education under Hill’s leadership.
At a school board meeting last week, Virginia McGraw, vice chair of the board, said while Hill’s time as superintendent is coming to an end, they have been tasked with hiring her replacement. To assist in that task, the Maryland Association of Boards of Education has been engaged.
Bill Middleton, MABE lead consultant, mentioned there are three basic tenets why the state association is involved with the search, including ensuring a “thoughtful, responsive and fair” search, “minimizing the possibility of any legal challenges” and “identifying the best leader” for the school system in its current circumstances.
He said the search entails several parts, including planning, advertising and recruiting, as well as screening and selecting candidates. The consultant noted he hopes to be complete with the entire process by the end of May at the latest.
To gather stakeholder input, live on the Charles school board’s and MABE’s website as of last week, is a three-question survey, asking parents, students, public school employees and others what the good things are about the school system, what concerns a superintendent may face and which characteristics a new superintendent should have.
Middleton noted the answers to the survey questions will be used to develop their advertisement and referred to during the interview process. While answers are mostly anonymous, the only identifying information asked is whether the participant is a parent, student, community member, school employee or business community member.
In addition to the online surveys, hard copies can be picked up from the board office and mailed back. The deadline for completing the survey is Feb. 21.
After candidates are selected, three rounds of interviews will take place before school board members will vote on the new superintendent during an open session. The selection must be approved by Maryland public schools’ Superintendent Karen Salmon, who Middleton said “has never second guessed a board.”