Kimberly A. Statham, a former high-ranking schools official in Howard County who left the state after allegations of a grade-changing scandal three years ago, has accepted an administrative job with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia.
Statham, 49, resigned last month as interim chief executive officer of the Oakland (Calif.) Unified School District after five months in that position. She had worked in the 41,000-student system for 28 months.
Shortly after her resignation, Deborah A. Gist, state superintendent of education for the District of Columbia, announced that Statham had accepted a position as deputy superintendent of teaching and learning.
In her resignation letter to the Oakland Unified School District, Statham noted personal reasons for her departure. She said she wanted to spend more time with her family in Maryland.
"It was surprising, but understandable, in light of the strain that the bi-coastal situation placed on her personal life," said Oakland schools spokesman Troy Flint.
Statham, who could not be reached for comment, lives in Chevy Chase with her family, Gist said.
Statham's career as Howard County's chief academic officer ended after allegations that she intimidated school staff members at Centennial High School to obtain preferential treatment for her daughter, who was a student. She resigned in 2004 and eventually was exonerated by the Howard County Board of Education. Statham was a consultant for the Howard County school system the next year.
During that period, Statham, who is African-American, was the victim of an apparent hate crime when someone used a chemical to burn a cross into the front lawn of her Ellicott City home.
Flint said Statham is credited with increasing the number of Oakland public school students accepted to the California state college system. "Kim did an excellent job increasing the academic rigors and upgrading the curriculum," he said.
Statham will make $170,000 in her position with District of Columbia public schools, $70,000 less than she was paid in Oakland.
"I am so excited about having Dr. Statham on our team," Gist said. "She is an innovative educator and manager. She turns schools around. That is a combination that is ideal."
Statham will oversee the academic achievement of all students in District of Columbia public and charter schools.