Carroll school board members plan to meet privately tonight to begin their search for a successor to Superintendent Brian L. Lockard, who will retire at the end of June.
Lockard, who has been superintendent since 1994, announced his retirement in January.
Since then, the board has received applications from 11 candidates seeking the top education job in Carroll. All but one of the applicants are from Maryland.
Board members said they will review the applications for the first time tonight, determine which candidates to interview and schedule meetings with the selected applicants this month. The new superintendent is expected to begin work July 1.
"I think it's going to be very difficult to replace Dr. Lockard," said board member Ann M. Ballard. "He's very well-liked by parents, by teachers, by administrators, and I think he's so well thought of in the community."
Lockard attended Carroll public schools and has spent all of his 33-year education career with the county school system.
As they begin the selection process, board members have specific qualities in mind for a superintendent: a commitment to public education, a familiarity with state testing requirements and education reform initiatives, and proven leadership abilities.
"I'm looking for someone with a lot of energy, good people skills, good ideas and a vision for our system," said board member Carolyn L. Scott.
Carroll is one of the fastest-growing school systems in the state, and has established an ambitious school-construction schedule to keep pace with increasing student enrollment.
County schools are consistently among the top performers on the annual Maryland School Performance Assessment Program tests, yet per-pupil spending is among the lowest in the state.
The new superintendent will be asked to address a projected $16 million shortfall in the school system's operating budget over the next five years.
"The superintendent's job is not an easy one," Scott said. "And I'm sure some people who have the qualifications hesitate to become that kind of a target."
Board member Joseph D. Mish said the board will negotiate with the new superintendent to determine his or her salary. He said the amount will be based on work experience and other factors.
Last summer, the board approved a 3 percent raise for Lockard, which would have brought his total compensation to $131,678 for the year, when combined with the board's contribution to his state retirement plan. Lockard donated his $6,200 raise to the school system to help pay for two programs.
Board members said they don't consider 11 applications for the superintendent's position to be a low number.
"I think it's a reasonable number," said board president C. Scott Stone. "I'm confident that within 11 candidates we can find a good pool of people to interview."
The fact that the board advertised the superintendent's position only within Maryland probably limited the number of applicants, board members said.
"I think the feeling on the board is that we want someone familiar with MSPAP," Mish said. "That, of course, excluded most people who haven't worked some time in the state of Maryland."
Board member Gary W. Bauer said the new high school assessment exams -- scheduled to begin with the Class of 2004 -- will also present challenges for the new superintendent. Local school jurisdictions are updating curricula and purchasing new instructional materials in preparation for the exams, which were approved as a graduation requirement in December by the state school board.
"Whoever comes in has to know what's going on in the state of Maryland," Bauer said. "We can't bring in someone from the outside who has to learn all this."
Pub Date: 4/01/98