Blackshear Finalist In Baltimore

1 Of 5 Considered For Schools Chief

June 14, 1991|By Donna Weaver | Donna Weaver,Contributing writer

Former county Board of Education member Patsy B. Blackshear has beennamed one of five finalists for the job of Baltimore school superintendent.

The city school board search committee deliberated for three hours Monday in a closed-door meeting before deciding on Blackshear and four other candidates for the final list.

The committee is charged with finding a replacement for outgoing Superintendent Richard C. Hunter. Hunter's three-year contract expires July 31 and was not renewed by the board at the urging of BaltimoreMayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Blackshear, 43, said she is "very pleased"that she has made the list.

"I'm pleased that the board is still considering me, and I think I can do the job," Blackshear said.

Her five years of experience on the county school board -- from

July1980 to June 1985 -- "probably was a contributing factor" to her selection, the Annapolis resident said. "But I think they look at a widerange of things."

Blackshear has served as the city school system's associate superintendent for management services, human resources and labor relations since 1989.

Former county school board member John L. Wisthoff, who worked with Blackshear on the board, praised her selection.

"Her field has been the business side," said Wisthoff, who began his decade-long tenure on the board in 1980, "and I don'tknow what that means in terms of what Baltimore City is looking for.But she would certainly be a fresh breeze. She's a good lady and could do a competent job."

Because of her school board experience, Blackshear wouldn't have trouble dealing with school board members, Wisthoff added. "It should be easier for her," he said.

The school board has planned a flurry of interviews within the next two weeks, including meetings with parent, business and religious leaders.

The finalists include only two from an original list comprised by the search committee in April. Schmoke and several city lawmakers had complained that the April list excluded people from inside the school system.

Blackshear, the only employee from the Baltimore school system on the new list, was not selected the first time.

The other candidates include Walter G. Amprey, an associate superintendent for the division of staff and community relations in Baltimore County; Charles M. Bernardo, former Montgomery County and Providence, R.I., superintendent; Lillian Gonzalez, assistant superintendent in Washington, and David W. Hornbeck, former Maryland state school superintendent.

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