Dr. John Fredericksen, Superintendent
Dr. John Fredericksen began serving a four-year appointment as superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools on July 1, 2008. During a national search for superintendent candidates, Dr. Fredericksen emerged from a field of 34 candidates from across the country due to his focus on student achievement and expertise in community engagement, finance, technology and instruction. In the Osseo Area Schools (a district with 22,000 students, 3,600 staff, 35 buildings and an operating budget of $211 million) in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minn., he served as an assistant superintendent. After more than 35 years in Minnesota public schools, Dr. Fredericksen, 57, and his wife, Renee, who holds a doctorate in public administration, were ready for a move east to be closer to family. He was attracted to the mix of urban and rural demographics that Wicomico County offers. Wicomico County's school system has 25 schools, an enrollment of more than 14,500, more than 2,700 staff members, and a $156 million unrestricted current expense budget. Dr. Fredericksen received a bachelor's degree in music education from St. Cloud, Minn., and a master's degree in community education from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. He received his doctorate in education administration, with a minor in public policy, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He began his career in education as a music teacher in St. Michael-Albertville, Minn., from 1972-1978. From 1978-1982 he served as the community services director for ISD 138 in North Branch, Minn. He was superintendent-principal of ISD 262 in Barrett, Minn.,from 1982-1985. He then became superintendent at progressively larger Minnesota school districts: The 600-student district in Gaylord (1985-1989), the 1,050-student district in Jordan (1989-1995), and the 1,650-student district in International Falls (1995-2001). In 2001, he was named assistant superintendent-administration for Osseo Area Schools, where he led a number of successful campaigns, including the state's second-largest school bond project. He also improved the school district's operations, equipment and facilities, transforming the system from 30 percent air-conditioned facilities to 100 percent, making districtwide improvements in student learning and technology tools, and creating teams of financial experts from the community to advise the school system.