Morgan in running for national superintendent of year award

December 17, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

Editor's note: Due to a source's error, the print version of this story and earlier online versions incorrectly stated how Elizabeth Morgan's trip to Phoenix would be paid for. The story has been corrected.

HAGERSTOWN -- Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan has been named one of four finalists in the 2010 National Superintendent of the Year program.

The American Association of School Administrators announced Thursday the four finalists were chosen from 48 superintendents who were named earlier this year as the best in their respective states.

Maine and Hawaii were not included.

The winner will be named Feb. 11 at the National Conference of Education in Phoenix.

"It's beyond my wildest expectations," Morgan said. "It's been a real surprise to me to get this far. I hope to do Maryland proud."


Morgan said she and the other finalists will be interviewed by a selection panel Jan. 12 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. She said she isn't nervous now but probably will be when the interview begins.

"I have some really tough competition," Morgan said.

The other finalists are Joyce C. Levey, superintendent of Tuscaloosa (Ala.) City Schools; Walt Rulffes, superintendent of Clark County (Nev.) School District; and Cynthia Stevenson, superintendent of Jefferson County (Colo.) Public Schools.

According to the American Association of School Administrators Web site, Morgan was recognized for "increasing the graduation rate and reducing the dropout rate in Washington County through the development of a student-focused strategic plan. Under her direction, test scores have steadily increased each year, particularly for minority and poverty groups, and the school system has achieved Adequate Yearly Progress in all schools and in all areas."

A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the National Superintendent of the Year to a student from the superintendent's high school alma mater. Morgan graduated from Fieldston High School in Riverdale, N.Y.

Morgan has served as superintendent of Washington County Public Schools since 2001. She was named The Herald-Mail's Washington County 2007 Person of the Year, and was elected to Maryland's Top 100 Women three times and inducted into the program's Circle of Excellence.

In addition to receiving Maryland's Minority Achievement Award, Morgan has received the Outstanding Educational Professional Award from the Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals, the Maryland Award for State Leadership in Gifted Education and the Maryland Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development's Award for Individual Excellence in Education.

Morgan earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Queens College, a certificate and professional diploma from Hofstra University, and her doctorate from American University in Washington, D.C.

Morgan said her trip would be paid for by the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland, the American Association of School Administrators, ARAMARK Education and the ING Foundation.

The finalists for Superintendent of the Year were measured using the following criteria:

o Leadership for learning -- Creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system.

o Communication -- Strength in both personal and organizational communication.

o Professionalism -- Constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team.

o Community involvement -- Active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.

The Herald-Mail Articles