Stuart D. Berger, the new Baltimore County school superintendent, brings with him a management style described as "intimidating," "iron-fisted" and "demanding." And those are quotes from someone who thinks well of the guy.
A former superintendent in North Olmsted, Ohio, Wichita, Kans., and Frederick County, Md., Dr. Berger does not come to Towson with a collection of rosy press clippings. According to reports, he doesn't hesitate to remove teachers he feels are not doing their jobs. He is said to have locked horns with his school boards, on one occasion taking a two-week leave to allow an unfraying of nerves. That was in Frederick, where Dr. Berger also sued a local newspaper over a six-paragraph item about a routine school matter.
No wonder many Baltimore County educators are antsy about the arrival of the new boss.
The 47-year-old Ohio native succeeded Robert Y. Dubel on July 1, though Dr. Berger was shaking things up before his first official day in the job. In early June, he took the initial step in his plan to decentralize school operations when he designated nearly 20 administrators for "on-site" jobs as principals, assistant principals and teachers.