Wicomico Schools Has Transition in the Superintendent's Office and on the Board of Education This Summer
It’s a week of transition for Wicomico County Public Schools and the Wicomico County Board of Education, with Wicomico saying farewell to Superintendent of Schools Dr. John E. Fredericksen and welcoming new Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donna C. Hanlin. This week the Board of Education also gave thanks to two departing Board members, Dr. Carolyn Elmore and Vice President Kim Hudson, in preparation for welcoming two newly appointed Board members, Nelson Eugene “Gene” Malone Jr. and Maria Waller, in July.
After an early morning work session Tuesday to review proposed policy and procedure revisions, the Board during a special meeting paid tribute to Dr. Fredericksen for his eight years of service as Wicomico’s Superintendent and his 44 years in public education. Former superintendents Tom Field and William Middleton attended, as did former Board presidents Mark Thompson and L. Michelle Wright, Dr. Fredericksen’s wife Renee, and others. Dr. Fredericksen announced a year ago that he would be retiring June 30, and on Tuesday he shared his enthusiasm for the family activities and woodworking projects that will occupy much of his newfound free time.
Dr. Hanlin, approved by the Board in March as Wicomico’s new superintendent, will begin working as Superintendent of Schools on Friday, July 1. This will be a new leadership position in Wicomico County Public Schools but a true homecoming for Dr. Hanlin, a Salisbury native, graduate of James M. Bennett High School, and former Wicomico teacher, principal and administrator. She is an educator with a broad background of teaching and leadership experiences from pre-kindergarten to higher education and a strong passion for improving the lives of children.
Dr. Hanlin began her career as a classroom teacher in Wicomico County Public Schools. She assisted in the design of the elementary guidance program for the school system and served as an elementary and middle school counselor. She served as Assistant Principal at Wicomico Middle and James M. Bennett High schools and as Principal of James M. Bennett High School before being promoted to Director of Secondary Education for the school system.
After 26 years in Wicomico County Public Schools, Dr. Hanlin moved to Hagerstown. In Washington County Public Schools, she served as Supervisor of Special Education, Director of Elementary Education, Assistant Superintendent and finally Associate Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, having been promoted to positions with progressively-increasing responsibility. Dr. Hanlin has taught master’s and doctorate level courses for Frostburg State University on instructional design, assessment and accountability, and the change process. She served as consultant in the design of the STEMM Technical Middle College, a partnership between the Washington County Public Schools and Hagerstown Community College, providing early college opportunities for high school students. She most recently served as Co-Chair and Director of Assessment and Accountability for the Department of Education at Shepherd University.
The school system will also have a change in leadership at the Board of Education level, with the departure of Dr. Elmore and Mrs. Hudson. Dr. Elmore resigned her Board seat effective June 30, when the term was set to expire. She did not seek reappointment, preferring to spend more time with family after a career in service to public education in Wicomico County that began back in 1973. Mrs. Hudson had served on the Board since 2012 and was eligible to serve a second term, but was not reappointed. She is a parent with two children in Wicomico Schools, was a founding member of Parents in Action, has chaired the Winter Wonderland of Lights Committee for 10 years, and had worked in guidance and student support in Dorchester and Wicomico public schools.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in June appointed to the Wicomico County Board of Education two new members, Mr. Malone and Ms. Waller, effective July 1. The new Board members are expected to be sworn in and ready to serve starting with the next monthly Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. in the Board Auditorium at 101 Long Ave., Salisbury. The meeting will begin as it always does in July, with the election of a Board president and vice president to serve from July 2016 to July 2017.