Board picks school leader Negotiations begin with applicant chosen for superintendent

'Lots of experience'

Board of Education to name Lockard's successor June 10

May 22, 1998|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

The county Board of Education has come to an agreement on a successor for Carroll County public schools Superintendent Brian L. Lockard, who will retire at the end of June.

The board is negotiating with the selected candidate, and plans to name the new superintendent on June 10, board members said.

"The quality of the candidates was wonderful," said board member Carolyn L. Scott. "It was a difficult decision."

Member Gary W. Bauer said the board interviewed five candidates from a field of 11 applicants. The new superintendent will start work July 1, the beginning of fiscal 1999.

"Personally, I'm very happy with the person we've come down to," Bauer said. "It was a very good group of candidates, lots of experience."

Board members declined to elaborate on the selected candidate.

Board President C. Scott Stone refused to comment on the superintendent search, but said he was "pleased with the quality of the applicants."

Lockard, 54, who has been superintendent since 1994, announced his retirement in January. He will join the faculty of Western Maryland College as coordinator of its graduate program in school administration.

When board members began the selection process in April, they said they were looking for a superintendent with a commitment to public education, familiarity with state testing requirements and education reform initiatives, and proven leadership abilities.

Bauer said that board members asked the applicants to talk about the most important issues facing Carroll schools, how they would improve the schools and their plans to bring Carroll schools into the 21st century.

"We got together later, looked at our notes, discussed each candidate, discussed the pros and cons and tried to reach a consensus on one candidate," Bauer said.

Scott said the five candidates were from Maryland.

"We wanted that," she said. "There's too much going on in Maryland to bring in someone fresh who has to catch up."

Carroll's new superintendent will take charge of one of the fastest-growing school systems in the state.

School officials have established an ambitious construction schedule to keep pace with increasing enrollment. At the same time, the new head of county schools will be asked to address a projected $16 million shortfall in the system's operating budget over the next five years.

And while Carroll schools are consistently among the top performers in the state on the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program tests, in recent years results have shown FTC student achievement leveling off.

Lockard has said that if the county doesn't change the bottom-line mentality that has prevailed on education spending, Carroll schools will begin to lose ground.

Carroll has the second-worst teacher-student ratio in the state, and in per-pupil spending, the county ranks 22nd out of 24 school systems in the state.

The county commissioners and the school board appear to have reached an agreement on the board's proposed $159 million budget for fiscal 1999, which includes money to add teachers to reduce class size instead of just keeping pace with growth.

Pub Date: 5/22/98

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