Frederick Co. educator nominated for city post Booker recommends Elizabeth Morgan for No. 2 schools position

October 10, 1998|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF

Baltimore's school board is expected to appoint next week a 55-year-old Frederick County educator with varied experience in several districts to the second-most-important job in the city schools, chief academic officer.

For several years, Elizabeth Morgan, a native New Yorker, has been associate superintendent of the Frederick County schools, supervising curriculum and instruction.

But much of her career was spent in Montgomery County, where she was a principal at Oak View and Lake Seneca elementary schools before she became director of school administration.

Baltimore schools chief Robert Booker said he recommended Morgan to the school board from 21 candidates who applied from around the country.

"She worked in New York in school systems with the same kind of problems as Baltimore City," he said. "I believe she will be a good match for what is needed in city schools."

The school board was looking for a classic educator who would balance Booker's strong financial background.

"She is high-energy and pleasant," said school board member Edward J. Brody. "I think she will be fair but no-nonsense."

When Baltimore's efforts to reform the schools began 18 months ago, Morgan said, she began paying close attention to what was going on, though she felt comfortable and happy in her Frederick County job.

"Something just grabbed me. It is almost like a religious experience, and I am not into the mystical stuff," she said, laughing.

Morgan, who is called Betty, speaks English and Spanish

and has taught children for whom English is a second language.

"I think I really have missed the urban challenge," she said.

She also has experience in special-education issues, an area with which Baltimore's system continues to struggle, particularly as a principal in Montgomery County.

In her current job, she has set up computer systems to track students, overseen testing, supervised area administrators who oversee the system's principals and has helped develop the $210 million school budget.

Morgan expects her job to focus on raising pupil achievement.

"Really, we are talking about being very focused, about putting achievement at the top of your agenda, about not accepting anything less than the very best from every student," she said.

Morgan, who lives in Myersville, would move to Baltimore and hopes to begin work Nov. 2.

Pub Date: 10/10/98

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