New Superintendent's Vision for SchoolsMy appointment as...


March 20, 1994

New Superintendent's Vision for Schools

My appointment as superintendent of schools, effective July 1, was both a humbling and flattering experience. At the same time, it was a call -- a call to the challenges which we face as a school system. I relish the task laid before me and I will not let down the parents and community members of Anne Arundel County.

Since the evening of last July 31, when I was named acting superintendent, I have tried very hard, both through my words and my actions, to send an important message to our students, our staff and to the community at large. It is a message of support and faith -- a message based on my strong belief that we have a very good school system now, a system made up of diverse and talented young people and served by dedicated educators and support staff.

But I also a believe that we can and we will do better. We will do better as long as everyone in this county realizes that this is our school system, everyone has a stake in it and everyone has to be part of our team. I hope this message has been heard in the schools, in the businesses, in the communities and in our governmental agencies. In the event that it has not yet heard by all, I can assure you that I will guarantee that it is heard in the next four years.

Looking ahead, my vision for the school system is one grounded in the belief that if we are going to provide our children with an education of the highest quality, then we must demand performance of the highest quality from our teachers, principals, support staff and central office administrators. I believe we should settle for nothing less than the best.

Because I do have a vision for our schools and for our students and for our communities. It is a vision grounded in quality -- quality staff and quality performances at every level -- from the classroom to the central offices of the board.

In searching for the best possible staff, I will be ever mindful that a valuable mix can often be achieved by blending the best of the old and the finest of the new. In the months ahead, I will work diligently with staff to transform my vision into a concrete plan for the school system -- a plan complete with goals and objectives for what I would call "the long haul."

Carol S. Parham


The writer was recently named superintendent for Anne Arundel County public schools.

Crime Commutes

Recent articles described the deterioration of Charles Center, crime in Pigtown and the light rail which began servicing northern Anne Arundel County last year. I feel these subjects are related.

In the past, when the old B&A railroad ran from Annapolis to Camden Station, the city was a pleasure to visit. Shopping was done at Hutzler's, Hochschild Kohn, Hecht Co. and Stewart's and excellent specialty stores. It was great to hop on the old rickety train and for a 25-cent ride into town, shop (or window shop), have lunch at one of the great restaurants or delis. The movie theaters were elegant and clean, and the old Lyric presented worthwhile performances. All of these things were even more pleasurable during the holiday season, and could be done without a single thought of fear.

Now, of course, that has all changed.

There are no more department stores, no movie theaters that a sane person would dare enter, no restaurants that most people would care to patronize and even the Lyric is substandard. Of course, we all know why these things have come about.

Very few who live in Anne Arundel County have any reason to enter downtown Baltimore any more. I believe most people would probably do just about anything to avoid it (other than the few unfortunates who have to go there to work, or those who attend a rare baseball game).

So, who rides the light rail? Well, I can tell you there are several riding from the city to Anne Arundel County. Our community is now considerably more accessible to those who come to rob, mug, loiter, shoplift, panhandle or do just about anything else they wish.

We who are heavily taxed for this super mistake are paying doubly. We're paying the exorbitant cost of this political foolishness, and the loss of our community to the criminal element. Once we were a desirable place in which to live. This is no longer the case. The communities which refused to allow the light rail to stop in their neighborhoods were wise indeed. Selfish? You bet!

A. O'Neill


Reader Pats Our Editorial Cartoonist on Back

I am a regular subscriber to The Sun and have been for more than 28 years. I have lived in the county for 22 years and have watched the coverage of our area grow. When an ice storm slows down your lifestyle, there is time to do the things that you always meant to get around to doing; writing this letter is one of those long overdue tasks.

Besides reading the Anne Arundel section of the paper, I always read and enjoy the opinion pages. It was a total delight to see that you are including political cartoons dedicated to the goings-on in the county. I really look forward to Rob Snyder's cartoons. They are always right on the mark. . . . They are always thought-provoking. His depictions of Ronald Price, Sheriff Robert Pepersack, Sr., Rear Adm. Thomas C. Lynch are wonderful. The only disappointment is that we only get to see the cartoons once a week. I hope that we could see Snyder's work often -- or better yet, on the Op-Ed page. If county news can make the front page, why can't the county cartoons make the first section, too?

I look forward to more cartoons. Thank you for including Rob Snyder's work in the paper.

Gloria P. Claybaugh


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