State and county optimistic about superintendent hunt

Inquiries begin coming in a week after job ad was posted


With a wish list completed and advertisements running nationally, the search for Anne Arundel County's next superintendent is under way.

Bea Gordon of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education is leading the hunt and says that inquiries about the job are already coming in, a week after the job posting was placed in a national education publication and on the association's Web site.

Gordon said 150 community and staff members attended three community forums and another 150 submitted written responses to help Gordon and her associates from MABE figure out what the school system is looking for. The input was the most Gordon has seen in a superintendent search in Maryland, she told the Anne Arundel board of education at its meeting Wednesday night.

Board Vice President Tricia Johnson said it wasn't just the quantity of responses that wowed her. "I'm impressed with the depth of input you got," Johnson told Gordon at the meeting.

While culling the feedback and responses, Gordon said she and her colleagues "looked for overall themes, recurring comments people made."

With that information, Gordon met with the board, and a description of the ideal candidate was created.

The Maryland Association of Boards of Education Web site lists the ideal candidate as a visionary who is passionate about public education; an open and inclusive communicator; an experienced educator; a manager with administrative, budget and financial experience who works well with others; a politically savvy advocate; and an ethical leader. Applicants are asked to write a narrative on each of the criteria as it relates to their personal experience.

The advertisement lists the minimum salary as $200,000.

Gordon told the board that a brochure about the job also is being worked on. She doesn't think it will be very difficult to find a new superintendent because Anne Arundel County has a lot to offer, she said.

"We do have a lot of issues, but I don't think they're insurmountable," she said. "It's a matter of finding the right match."

Screenings of the applicants are scheduled to begin in February.

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