Curriculum director leaving for Va.

June 04, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

Francis J. Finan is leaving his post as director of curriculum and staff development at the Washington County Board of Education to become superintendent of schools in Bristol, Va.

That school system, which is about 350 miles from Hagerstown, has 2,400 students, said Finan, 53. Washington County has 19,400 students.

He will retire from the Maryland school system effective July 7. He's been employed by school systems in Maryland since 1968, and has worked for Washington County for three years. He oversees 2,400 employees.

Finan said he is excited about the chance to serve as superintendent, a job he said will involve working in areas besides curriculum and staff development.


"It is a chance to help people in a more comprehensive way," he said.

He is particularly looking forward to having more direct interaction with students. While he enjoys his current position, it does not include as much student interaction as past education posts he has held, he said.

"He will be greatly missed in Washington County," Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr. said.

Finan organized the essential curriculum for all classrooms in the district, Bartlett said.

"He established accountability through lesson planning and benchmarking curriculum delivery," Bartlett said.

Finan said his position was advertised. The last day for people to apply was Thursday.

He counts among the high points of his job here the reaching of a compromise solution when some parents challenged the use of a John Irving novel "A Prayer for Owen Meany."

He removed the book from classes in January 1998 after a parent protested the use of the novel in high school. He later decided the book could be used as long as parents gave written consent. That solution seemed to satisfy all sides, he said.

Other accomplishments include overseeing the creation of a curriculum committee, expanding staff development and refining the district's gifted and talented program, he said.

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