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Morgan 'interim' no more

Morgan fully the superintendent Monday

Morgan fully the superintendent Monday

June 30, 2002|by DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

dank@herald-mail.com

Elizabeth Morgan drops the interim from her title on Monday, officially becoming the superintendent of Washington County Public Schools.

It's a transition a year in the making.

Morgan came to the county as interim superintendent in July 2001, two months after former Superintendent Herman Bartlett resigned.

At that time, Morgan saw her Washington County post as a temporary position.

She was the chief academic officer and second in command at the Baltimore City school system, on loan for a year to Washington County.

"When I got here, I thought I was in heaven," Morgan said of her transfer from Baltimore to Washington County. "The school system was in good shape."

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Thinking she would be here for only one year, Morgan said she "wanted to leave the county better than I found it."

Morgan met with the elected Board of Education and came up with a list of goals that included improving public communication, finding more grant money and establishing more special programs.

School Board President Edward Forrest said Morgan's year as interim superintendent was "very successful."

The highlights of Morgan's first year here included the starting of the alternative high school, bringing more board meetings out into the community, and preparing to make Fountaindale Elementary School the first magnet school in the county, Forrest said.

"She brought a lot of new ideas to this county," said Scott Nicewarner, president of the Washington County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations. "I'm looking forward to a great tenure."

In October, Morgan decided to apply for the superintendent position on a permanent basis.

Forrest said the board reviewed about 13 potential superintendent candidates. He said Morgan was by far the best candidate, so she was the only candidate interviewed.

In February, the board announced Morgan would be the new superintendent. She was given a four-year contract running from Monday, to June 30, 2006. Her starting pay is $120,000 a year. Morgan made $105,000 as interim superintendent.

Becoming superintendent is the culmination of Morgan's long rise through the educational ranks.

She started her career in education in 1968 as a teacher assistant in New York City. She was a teacher and then school system administrator on Long Island, N.Y.

In 1979, Morgan came to Maryland and headed the English as a Second Language and bilingual programs in Montgomery County, Md. She was a principal and administrator, and worked in the Frederick County, Md. school system before going to work in Baltimore in 1998.

"I have stepped on every rung in the ladder," Morgan said. "And I'm looking forward to the next four years."

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