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Schools get new superintendent

February 06, 2002

Schools get new superintendent



By TARA REILLY
tarar@herald-mail.com


The Washington County Board of Education ended an eight-month search for a schools superintendent Tuesday night by signing a four-year contract with former Baltimore City Public Schools chief academic officer Elizabeth Morgan.

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Morgan, 58, will earn $120,000 a year beginning July 1. The School Board also will pay Morgan a $500 a month car allowance.

The board approved the contract 7-0.

The School Board will not require Morgan, who lives in Middletown, Md., in Frederick County, to reside in Washington County while she serves as superintendent, School Board President Edward Forrest said previously.

Under the contract, the School Board must provide Morgan with any appropriate communication devices, including a laptop and a cell phone.

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Life insurance, health benefits, personal time off and retirement benefits will be discussed at a later time, the contract states.

The contract also states:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The Board shall refrain from individual interference with the administration of school policies except through board action. The board and Morgan must agree to share with each other criticisms, complaints and suggestions concerning the school system.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Morgan will receive an annual evaluation from the School Board on her performance and the performance of the school system.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Pay raises or bonuses may be provided in the future at the discretion of the board and based on Morgan's performance.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Morgan is encouraged to join appropriate professional and community organizations and to attend local, state and national level meetings and conferences. The board will pay for four organization memberships and others will be paid by the board pending approval. Morgan will be reimbursed $3,200 a year to attend up to three conferences.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The School Board will pay the costs of a comprehensive medical examination annually.

The School Board hired Morgan in June to serve as interim superintendent after Herman G. Bartlett resigned the schools superintendent post in April. Bartlett resigned amid a board-backed investigation of the school system by a private detective and intimidation allegations from former school employees.

Morgan was on loan this year from Baltimore City Public Schools and is earning $148,000. As a condition of the loan, Washington County agreed to reimburse Baltimore City $105,000 toward that salary plus benefits, Morgan said.

In June, Morgan said she expected to stay in Washington County for just this school year.

But the reception she received from the School Board, community, business leaders and staff helped change her mind, she said. She said she's had other job options that may have paid more money, but she decided to stay in Washington County.

"Seeing what a good staff we had made me realize the situation had all the ingredients to be a successful system," Morgan said. "I think what I really wanted was a place where I could feel successful and do some good for students."

She said she thanks the county's citizens for giving her a warm welcome.

"I certainly expect to give more than I received for the students of the county," Morgan said.

Jenny Belliotti, president of the Washington County Council of PTAs, said the PTA is looking for positive change for the county's schools.

The county has 45 schools and an enrollment of about 19,500 students.

"You bring to us a reputation as a hard worker, years of experience, excitement for the job and fresh ideas," Belliotti said. "Among the changes I hope to see are the ripened fruit of all those ideas that will truly make our system the best it can be for all children."

In a written statement, Morgan said she's working on developing a multi-year plan for the school system that will be released later this month.

"I'm looking forward to the next several years together," School Board member Doris Nipps said. "I hope that your being here will bring some stability to the school system after a turbulent year this year."

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