The school board took steps recently to fill the positions. It hired Alvin Crawley, the deputy chief of programming in the Office of Special Education for D.C. public schools and a former assistant superintendent for student services, as interim chief.
A. Duane Arbogast, the former chief academic officer, took over as acting deputy superintendent for academics. Monica Goldson, the assistant superintendent of the high school consortium, was named acting chief operating officer. And Doug Anthony, who ran a division of the system’s human resources department, is temporarily leading the personnel department.
The new superintendent must understand the complexities of the county’s school system, which is made up of students who live in urban, rural and suburban neighborhoods. Despite the county’s affluence — and because many parents send their children to private schools — nearly 70 percent of Prince George’s students qualify for free and reduced-price meals.
Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s), chairman of the county’s House delegation, said she wants the school board to hire someone who is “open to new ideas and willing to work with all of the stakeholders, including students, parents and the business community.”
School board Chairman Verjeana M. Jacobs (District 5) and four other members did not return calls seeking comment. Briant Coleman, a board spokesman, said members will not discuss the type of candidate they would prefer until they receive community input.
Residents and community leaders said they want a superintendent who will continue the academic progress the school system experienced under Hite and Deasy.
The NAACP provided the search company with several characteristics it would like in a new chief: Someone who embraces year-round schools, promotes “an inviting atmosphere for parents at schools,” is labor-friendly and is an advocate for art programs in schools.
“We need somebody who knows the community and is politically savvy,” Ross said. “Someone who is innovative and doesn’t mind making waves to get the job done.”