Schools chief plans to quit in summer Popular Lockard has served 33 years in local system

'He's a very good leader'

Board will launch immediate search for his successor

January 15, 1998|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

Brian Lockard, one of the most popular superintendents Carroll County schools have had, will retire at the end of June.

The school board got the news yesterday morning in a closed session, held before its public meeting. President C. Scott Stone said the board will immediately begin searching for a successor to start work July 1.

Lockard, 54, has spent all of his 33-year career and most of his life in Carroll County. He has been superintendent since 1994.

"In September of 1949, shortly after my sixth birthday, I entered ,, Mechanicsville Elementary School," Lockard said.

"I guess you could say I've been going to Carroll County schools ever since," Lockard said.

Concerning his decision to step down, he said he knew it was time to retire. His plans are not definite, he said.

He said he is mostly focused on the next six months' challenges, including the most assertive budget request he has given to the school board -- a request he said that only begins to address the needs of students.

Lockard is proposing a $159 million budget, which is $2.6 million more than what the County Commissioners have said they would approve.

Other issues that demand his attention include a revision of elementary report cards, plans for building new schools and the decisions about who goes to them.

"My plans right now are to get through this school year and feel good about those issues," he said.

He never considered another career, Lockard said.

"If I had it to do over again, I'd do it exactly the same way," he said.

A second-generation educator, he is the son of the late Holmes Lockard, a longtime teacher and principal.

Brian Lockard's wife, Lynda, taught with him at Freedom Elementary School before their two children, Laura and Steven, were born. Steven Lockard is an assistant principal at Deer Crossing Elementary School in Frederick County.

In June 1994, Lockard was appointed superintendent to succeed R. Edward Shilling after a tumultuous two-year debate about school reforms.

Nevertheless, parents and politicians had only good words about Lockard and his integrity.

"I spoke to his many skills, but I also spoke to his compassion," said Stone, describing Lockard's appointment. He said quality and a passion for public education are what made Lockard stand out in a field of applicants from around the state.

"I was hoping you'd stay a few more years," Ann M. Ballard, another board member, said to Lockard at the board's public meeting.

"Out in the community, I've never heard a negative word about Dr. Lockard."

"I want to thank you for helping me, as a first-year board member," Gary V. Bauer, vice president of the board, also told Lockard. "You have been very open, and very honest with me, and you made sure everyone on the staff is the same way."

Last summer, Lockard took the unprecedented step of donating his $6,200 raise back to the school system to help pay for two programs he said he believes in: a student leadership conference about racial equality and increased efforts to recruit minority teachers.

The board had approved a 3 percent raise to bring his base pay to $123,064.

Combined with the board's contribution to his state retirement plan, his total compensation for the year would have been $131,678.

A 1961 Westminster High School graduate, Lockard received his bachelor's degree from then-Frostburg State College in 1965 and his master's degree from Western Maryland College in 1969.

He received his doctorate in 1986 from the American University in Washington. Lockard has also taken graduate courses at Boston University and the Johns Hopkins University.

Word of his retirement spread like wildfire before the board meeting ended. Someone left the second-floor meeting room to alert personnel on other floors at school headquarters in the Courthouse Annex.

The announcement was a surprise to the cluster of subject-area supervisors who occupy the ground-floor offices, said Linda Schatz, secretary to the director of curriculum and staff development.

"He's a very good leader," Schatz said.

"That's one thing about Brian, he leads by example. He's wonderful. He takes time to stop and talk and see how things are going."

Pub Date: 1/15/98

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