Criteria discussed for next superintendent

June 26, 1997


Staff Writer

The next schools superintendent should put the welfare of students first, be aggressive in seeking funding and have adequate experience as a teacher and superintendent, Washington County Board of Education members heard during an informal meeting Wednesday.

The three criteria were among a wide range of expectations shared by the handful of people who attended the meeting, which school board members anticipated would draw dozens of people.

The school board hopes to name a replacement for Schools Superintendent Wayne F. Gersen, who left the post earlier this month, by October, said board President B. Marie Byers.


The welfare of students has to be the top priority, said Kathryn Costa, who said she was present as a concerned mother.

The right person also will have integrity, a fine academic background and will keep in touch with the schools, not be an "absent leader," Costa said.

The system needs a "political animal," familiar with the way Maryland schools are funded, to "get the dollars rolling in," said Bill Greenwald, immediate past president of the Washington County Teachers Association.

The next superintendent should have solid teaching experience and have headed a school system close in size to Washington County's, said Gordon Crabb.

The person should have a proven record and seek advice from all segments of the community, said Crabb, speaking as both chairman of the board's budget advisory committee and a concerned grandparent.

Jon Kalback, a cooperative work experience teacher at Smithsburg High School, said he would like the job to go to someone who is "vocationally oriented from K through 12" and can bring new ideas to the system.

The right candidate must be willing to address the diversity within the county, be able to "run a tight ship" and actively work with the community to assure adequate funding, said Jenny Belliotti, representing the Washington County Council of PTA.

The board will consider written comments postmarked by June 30, Byers said.

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