As far as some county residents are concerned, the school board can stop the search for a new superintendent before it begins.
They believe the man currently holding the job, acting Superintendent C. Berry Carter II, should be the next superintendent.
About 30 people Wednesday night attended the first of two meetings the school board is conducting to find out what the public wants ina superintendent. Without naming him directly, many let it be known that Carter has their support.
Paul Acito, who worked in the school system for 21 years, said he believes Carter has the vision and theinsight, not to mention the experience, to lead the school system.
"We don't need an individual to wait and learn," Acito said. "We can't afford that. We've had that for eight years."
Former Superintendent Larry L. Lorton resigned from the school system in February, a few months shy of the end of his four-year term. His predecessor, Robert C. Rice, resigned as superintendent in 1988 near the end of his four-year term.
Both Rice and Lorton are believed to have resigned because of difficulties with the school board. It was unlikely their contracts would have been renewed, sources close to the board have said.
Carter, 60, has been with the school system 38 years, beginning as a teacher at Brooklyn Park Elementary School. He has been deputysuperintendent since 1974.
Dick Perte, who went through the county's school system as both a student and teacher, said the next superintendent should be someone who knows the inner workings of the countyand state, someone who knows the problems of the school system through experience.
"Why waste your time and taxpayers' money when you have the most knowledgeable person serving as your superintendent of schools?" Perte said. "Think of the message you will be sending your employees. They will again be important."
Jean Trott, president ofthe county's Retired Teachers Association, said the county can ill afford to wait for someone from outside to learn the system. If, in the time it takes for a superintendent to learn the system, a "mutual disenchantment" between the superintendent and the board becomes evident, she said, the county would be back where it started.
Trott said Carter should not have to apply for "the job he is already doing." She suggested that the person the board hires as deputy superintendent should be someone who can be groomed to take over as superintendentwhen Carter retires.
Board member Nancy Gist said she agreed withall of the wonderful accolades Carter was receiving, even if his name wasn't being spoken. Yet she urged those testifying to refrain fromgiving nominating speeches and just to give the characteristics theywould like to see in the next superintendent.
But the nominationscontinued.
"No one else in the entire system knows Anne Arundel County schools better than he," said Mike Krissoff, reading from a letter he submitted to the board. "As virtually a lifelong resident of the county, he knows its residents, its government, its weaknesses, its strengths and its concerns.
"If he was running for president, I'd vote for him," Krissoff added.
Board president Jo Ann Tollenger quipped that she understood the Democrats were looking for someone torun.
Despite his virtual nomination to the position of superintendent, Carter said he has not yet decided if he wants the job.
"I've only been in the job three weeks," Carter said. "I'm just going to wait and see what they expect of me. The board knows where to find me. I'm not going anywhere."