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Morgan named top schools superintendent

October 30, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan has been named the best superintendent in the state by her peers.

Morgan was named 2010 Maryland Superintendent of the Year by the Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland at a conference Thursday in Ocean City, Md.

"It was a wonderful feeling," Morgan said Friday. "I have wonderful peers. My fellow superintendents are a group I really respect."

The award recognizes a chief school administrator in the state who exemplifies excellence and achievement in educational leadership.

As recipient of the award, Morgan will represent Maryland in the National Superintendent of the Year program. The national award will be announced in February at the National Conference on Education.

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Morgan said she is the first superintendent in Washington County to receive the award, which has been given annually for the past 25 years.

Morgan said she knew she was in the running, but didn't find out she had won until Thursday.

"Dr. Morgan was selected for her commitment and dedication to the education of all children who attend Washington County's public schools," Carl D. Roberts, executive director of the Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland, said in a press release. "Her leadership has resulted in improved student performance results in every category and has contributed to establishing a culture throughout the county where education is highly valued. While it takes a collective effort to accomplish the significant progress in student performance, we know that it will not happen without outstanding leadership from the superintendent."

Wayne Ridenour, president of the Washington County Board of Education, said Friday he was "excited" when he heard Morgan had received the award.

"It just validates the job she has done," Ridenour said. "The system from the top down is respected throughout the state. She's played a huge, huge part in that."

Ridenour said one of Morgan's greatest accomplishments has been her ability to secure millions of dollars from the state to build new schools.

The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, and Maugansville, Pangborn and Rockland Woods elementary schools were built during Morgan's tenure, Ridenour said.

Ground was broken in September for the construction of Antietam Academy, and Eastern Primary School is slated to open in August 2011.

"She expects her staff to do their homework and make professional presentations to the state," Ridenour said. "She makes sure everyone is on top of their game."

Morgan is in her ninth year as superintendent of Washington County Public Schools, and is approaching 31 years of service in the state of Maryland, according to information provided by the school system.

She was named Washington County Person of Year for 2007 by The Herald-Mail, and has been inducted into the Circle of Excellence for Maryland's Top 100 Women.

Within the last year, she also was named an Outstanding State Leader for Gifted and Talented Education, and received an award for Educational Excellence by the Maryland Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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