Board of Education Announces Three Finalists for Wicomico Superintendent of Schools; Each Finalist to Have “Day in the District” Next Week
The Wicomico County Board of Education has announced the names of the three finalists for the next Wicomico Superintendent of Schools, and will give each finalist a busy “Day in the District” next week. Members of focus groups that will participate in interviewing the finalists learned the names of the finalists after an orientation and preparation meeting on Wednesday, March 9.
All three finalists have strong local connections, having served in Wicomico County Public Schools in various capacities during their long careers in public education. The finalists, in order of the date for their “Day in the District,” are:
Monday, March 14: Dr. Cathy J. Townsend, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, Wicomico County Public Schools. In Wicomico, Dr. Townsend taught elementary and high school math, and worked as assistant principal and principal of Salisbury Middle, School Climate Coordinator, and Supervisor of Safe Schools. Dr. Townsend was principal of Delmar Middle and High School and Director of Special Education for Delmar School District.
Tuesday, March 15: Dr. Lorenzo L. Hughes, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction for Dorchester County Public Schools. In Wicomico, Dr. Hughes served as an assistant principal and principal of Wicomico High School. Dr. Hughes was a teacher, assistant principal and principal in Talbot County Public Schools.
Wednesday, March 16: Dr. Donna C. Hanlin, Co-Chair and Director of Assessment and Accountability, Department of Education at Shepherd University. In Wicomico, Dr. Hanlin was as a school counselor, served as assistant principal (Wicomico Middle and James M. Bennett High), principal (James M. Bennett High), and Director of Secondary Education. Dr. Hanlin was Associate Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer for Washington County Public Schools.
Each “Day in the District” will include:
- An informal coffee time with local officials
- Interviews with panels of Central Office administrators, principals, support staff and retirees, business leaders, teachers, parents and community leaders
- A quick tour of three Wicomico schools
- Lunch with students
- A time to meet with media
- Dinner and dialogue with the Board of Education
“The search for a new Superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools has been top priority for the Board members this year. We are pleased with the process and excited to bring forth three qualified finalists,” Board President Don Fitzgerald said. “We appreciate the investment our community is making by participating in focus groups and providing input to the Board. We look forward to making a final decision soon and helping our new Superintendent create a vision and plan for the coming year."
The Board’s goal is to choose the top candidate for superintendent by around April 1, and vote to appoint the chosen candidate. The new superintendent would start work on July 1, 2016.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Fredericksen informed the Board in June 2015 that he would retire when his second four-year contract ends June 30, 2016. The Board of Education brought in the expertise of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) to conduct the search process. MABE held four stakeholder input sessions in October to gather the input that shaped the search for a new superintendent.
Starting in November the superintendent opening was posted widely so that qualified local, state and national candidates could apply, with the first consideration of applications by MABE on Jan. 11. The Board conducted two rounds of interviews this winter to select the three finalists for extensive interviews March 14-16 with various stakeholder groups. These groups will provide input to the Board as it prepares to choose a new superintendent.