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School board picks Barkdoll as interim superintendent

June 02, 1997

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

The Washington County Board of Education has named Linda Barkdoll as interim superintendent during its search for a replacement for long-time Schools Superintendent Wayne Gersen, the board announced this morning in a news release.

To make the transition as smooth as possible, Barkdoll will assume the post June 16, a few days before Gersen leaves for his new job heading the Wappingers Central School District in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., said board President Marie Byers.

Former Washington County schools administrator John Hull has been named to temporarily fill Barkdoll's role as director of human resources, the board announced.

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Hull spent his last 13 years with the school system, supervising employee relations and human resources, she said. He will start today.

Barkdoll, 49, was asked to apply for the interim superintendent job because of her "vast experience" in the county's school system and credentials for superintendency in Maryland, Byers said.

"It was perfect that she was available and that she could assume this role," she said.

Barkdoll came to the school system in 1970.

She taught fourth and fifth grades, served as vice principal of Bester Elementary School and principal of Keedysville, Hancock and Smithsburg elementary schools before moving to the central office in 1988 to serve as supervisor of personnel.

She was promoted to director of human resources last year.

Barkdoll, who has a doctorate in educational leadership, will be the first woman to hold the top schools post in Washington County, Byers said.

Barkdoll said she sees the job as both an exciting challenge for herself and a means of maintaining stability in the school system during its transition to a new superintendent.

"I think when you're in educational administration, a career goal would be to be a superintendent," Barkdoll said.

She said she'll have to think about whether she's interested in applying for the permanent position. "This gives me an opportunity to try it out, see what it feels like."

Part of her decision will hinge on what the school board identifies as its criteria for a new superintendent, Barkdoll said.

Meanwhile, with so many administrators retiring from the school system, it will be an advantage to have someone at the helm who is familiar with the system, its personnel and goals, she said.

The school board will begin its national search for a permanent replacement for Gersen this week, Byers said. Applications must be postmarked by July 11, she said.

The board hopes to pick a finalist in October or November, she said.

To comply with state law, the person selected will be named acting superintendent until early 1998, she said. By law, the job becomes permanent on July 1, 1998, she said.

Gersen, 50, announced he was leaving the Washington County school system in late April.

He assumed the post in 1987.

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