October 23, 2014
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is hard to believe that next week is the last week of October and the end of the first marking term. Hopefully you have had a successful first quarter of the school year.
As I have traveled around to all of our schools visiting and meeting with staff, students,and community members, I am frequently asked, “when will the superintendent search process begin”, “will you be applying for the position”, or “why conduct a search at all?”
The expectation set forth by the State and the State Board of Education is that the local Board of Education conducts a thorough and comprehensive search for the local Superintendent of Schools. That process serves to validate the selection of the best candidate. Furthermore, the process allows anyone to apply and affords all stakeholder groups an opportunity to have input. The process of selecting and hiring a Superintendent is one of the most important duties of the Board. One of my responsibilities over the next several months will be to work very closely with the Board as we move through the process of selecting a new Superintendent.
The Board of Education will be engaging the services of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) to assist them with the search process. MABE has successfully conducted many Superintendent searches throughout the State over the past several years. The Board plans to share information about the process at the November Board meeting.
I will not be applying for the Superintendent position for a couple of reasons. Throughout my career with Caroline County Public Schools, being the Superintendent of Schools has never been a career objective or desire. I have worked hard to learn and advance to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services and I believe that I have done a good job of providing leadership and direction over the many support services divisions in the school system. Equally, if not more importantly, I do not meet the requirements necessary to be certified by the State to be Superintendent of Schools. Those requirements are defined in State law and are based around the premise that the Superintendent be an instructional leader, hold a teaching certificate, have years of classroom experience, and complete significant graduate level course work.
While no Superintendent can be an expert in all the various facets of running a school system, the current structure in Maryland supports that person being an instructional leader. I do not know how long it will be before a Maryland Superintendent comes from the business side, but I know that it will not be next year. After this year, my role will return to that of being the best Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services that I can be, and do everything possible to support the new Superintendent of Schools.
I am truly humbled by the tremendous outward support that staff and community members have displayed to me over the past few months. That outward support has made a very tough job much easier and provides me with the energy necessary to continue to plow forward for the balance of the school year.
My very best wishes for a continued great school year.
Milton E. Nagel, CPA
Interim Superintendent of Schools