The Baltimore school system's new leadership "troika" is finally in place, now that Lillian Gonzalez has agreed to be one of two deputy school superintendents.
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday that Gonzalez, an assistant superintendent in Washington, D.C., has accepted the job, which was offered to her by the school board three weeks ago.
Gonzalez will serve as one of two deputies to incoming Superintendent Walter G. Amprey, the associate superintendent in Baltimore County who was named to the top spot three weeks ago.
She will share the number-two spot in the school bureaucracy with Patsy Baker Blackshear, currently an associate superintendent in the Baltimore system.
Final contract details are still being worked out on all three administrators.
Gonzalez is an expert in special education and in the education of bilingual children, homeless children and adults. She has worked for the Washington, D.C., schools since 1989 and prior to that worked for the New York City school system.
In announcing the three top administrators, school board members had cited the complementary strengths that Gonzalez and Blackshear can bring to their jobs.
They cited Gonzalez's strengths in the areas of support services for children, curriculum and program development, and Blackshear's budget and administrative experience.
"This is not running the schools by committee," the mayor said yesterday. "The superintendent will run the system."
Schmoke also said that Amprey, who takes over from outgoing Superintendent Richard C. Hunter, whose contract expires July 31, is "not going to have to worry about me breathing over his shoulder.
"But I'm going to continue to advocate for improvements and NTC make sure things are not business-as-usual in the school system," the mayor added.