New assistant superintendent quitting to spend time with son

September 23, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

Walter N. Chitwood III, who built a career burning the midnight oil as an Anne Arundel County administrator, is quitting his new job as an assistant superintendent with the county schools to spend time raising his younger son.

With his older children grown, "I've got one more opportunity to make it right," he said, referring to Ryan, 12. "I want to have a relationship with him."

Mr. Chitwood said he realized he was "out of touch with my family" during the four-week vacation he took between jobs as Anne Arundel County's chief administrative officer and the schools system's assistant superintendent for administration

After weeks with his family that weren't interrupted by phone calls from work, he realized that the long hours in high-level county posts over two decades had taken a toll.

"I sat at the dining room table one night, and I heard my daughter talking about something from her childhood. I didn't even know what she was talking about," he said.

Immediately after starting his new job, he said, he knew that 11-hour days and six-day work weeks were no longer right for him. Last week, he told Superintendent Carol S. Parham he wanted to leave the job he started in mid-August, which includes a review of the administrative organization of the schools.

He said he probably will finish that project before leaving in a month. He will work with the school system as a consultant and collect a county government pension.

"He's really made a tremendous contribution in the short time he's been with us," Dr. Parham said.

Thomas Twombly, a school board member, called Mr. Chitwood "probably the most brilliant individual I have ever seen in reference to his ability to take a problem, analyze the problem and come up with multiple solutions to the problem."

Mr. Chitwood, 46, has spent 16 of the last 19 years in county government, working for the past three county executives.

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