ANNAPOLIS – Anne Arundel County Public Schools will soon have a new leader, at least temporarily.
The county Board of Education is scheduled to formally announce its choice for interim superintendent today before its regular meeting, and that person will take over on Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day.
“You can’t be without a superintendent,” even for one day, said board Vice President Tricia Johnson.
Nancy M. Mann is expected to be named interim superintendent of the state’s fifth largest school district, The (Annapolis) Capital and other publications reported last week, taking over for Eric J. Smith, who is taking another position.
Mann retired in June from Anne Arundel County Public Schools as assistant superintendent for instruction. She has 35 years of experience, most with the system. Phone calls to Mann’s home were not returned.
Johnson said the board “wanted someone who understands our system,” but a lot of names and options were discussed during the closed-door, executive session in which the decision was made.
“We had discussions about the qualities we wanted in an interim superintendent,” Johnson said. “And we arrived at the decision. It was as simple as that.”
Sam Georgiou, chairman of the board’s countywide Citizen Advisory Committee, said he was glad the board had decided on an interim superintendent.
“If the information (that Mann will be the board’s choice) that was released last week was accurate, then I stand by my comments,” Georgiou said.
“Mrs. Mann would make a good choice,” he said. “She would bring stability and calm and has always had academic achievement and children’s best interest at heart.”
Before her retirement, Mann was co-chairman of a teacher workload committee with Sheila Finlayson, president of the Teachers’ Association of Anne Arundel County.
“Mrs. Mann came through the ranks in our school system and has a true commitment to our school district,” Finlayson said. “She clearly does understand that what’s good for teachers is good for kids.”
Also on Wednesday, the school board is scheduled to be briefed by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, the entity chosen to assist with the search for a permanent replacement for Smith.
Johnson said forums have been scheduled to get input on what community members would like to see in the next superintendent. She said those meetings will be Nov. 16 and 17.
“We want to make it as transparent a process as possible and get all the input we can,” Johnson said.
Meanwhile, in Prince George’s County, the search for a new system chief executive is farther along.
Ray and Associates Inc., hired in September to conduct the search, has advertised the position on its Web site, www.rayandassociatesonline.com.
Gary Ray, president of the Iowa-based firm, said a cross section of people from Prince George’s County provided advice that led to the development of the position description now on the search firm’s site, Ray said.
According to the job description, candidates must have a master’s degree and significant administrative experience. The base salary will be $250,000.
The deadline for applications is Jan. 5, 2006, and the county Board of Education hopes to announce a new CEO in early February.
“We’ll be pretty successful in getting candidates,” said Ray. “It’s not the quantity of candidates; it’s the quality of candidates that matters.”