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Abernethy leaving for Baltimore post

July 13, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

Patricia Abernethy, who has worked for four years as Washington County Public Schools' deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction, announced Wednesday she will be leaving in August for a position in Baltimore.

Abernethy said she accepted the position of deputy chief of staff with Baltimore City Public Schools. She begins work Aug. 14.

Her title in the Washington County school system was changed July 1 to deputy superintendent for systemwide improvement, efficiency and accountability. Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said the change was made to utilize Abernethy's skills and expertise in those areas.

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Abernethy said Wednesday that she was proud to have been part of the Washington County school system.

She said she was contacted recently about the Baltimore position. Abernethy said she was considering moving to that area in the next few years to be closer to her family.

She served for four years in Baltimore City Public Schools as area executive officer and then as head of curriculum and instruction before coming to Washington County.

Before that, she served in a variety of administrative and teaching roles in Delaware and New Jersey.

Morgan called Abernethy's departure, "a great loss to our school system." Morgan said she had not made a decision yet about how to fill Abernethy's position.

"Washington County Public Schools have been the better for her having been here," Morgan said.

As deputy superintendent, Abernethy spearheaded many major academic initiatives in the school system since 2002, according to a release. Her contributions include increased academic rigor for all students, a well-delivered staff development system promoting professional growth among teachers and administrators, and research-based innovative practices to support teachers and students.

Abernethy said her work with the school system's strategic master plan will be especially useful in her new role in Baltimore. She will be working closely with that school system's superintendent on their master plan. She said her expertise in data analysis and other fields will help her further the achievement of students in the city.

"I've enjoyed my time here," Abernethy said. "I work hard for the sake of children. Students really are No. 1 in this county."

Morgan said Abernethy's current position in Washington County was created with her in mind, and she was not sure how she would be filling the position. There were several possibilities, Morgan said.

"This is a loss to our school system, but we wish (Abernethy) the best as she prepares to take on a major challenge in her new assignment," said Board of Education President W. Edward Forrest.

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