A black woman has been picked by the Montgomery County School Board to fill the number two position in the county's school system.
Floretta D. McKenzie, now Maryland's assistant deputy state superintendent of schools, will become the deputy superintendent for Montgomery County Schools sometime in May. Her salary is still being negotiated but will fall between $45,000 and $48,000 per year, mcKenzie said.
While serving in the number three position in the state school system, McKenizie was head of the state's Project Basic, a program to develop standards and tests for minimum competency levels of academic and life skills necessary for graducation from high school. In the state job McKenzie, made $38,700 per year.
McKenzie said she took the county job because she sees herself "as a manager of programs and people."
She said that she will oversee instructional programs in the schools and the responsible for the area intendentswho each supervise a portion of the county' public schools. McKenzie, who is 42, held the job of an area superintendent for the Montgomery County schools from July 1973 to March 1977. She was responsible for 37 schools in Wheaton, part of Rockville and Kensington.
From 1970 to 1972, McKenzie was deputy superintendent of schools in Washington, D. C., and was acting superintendent before Barbara Sizemore became superintendent in 1973.
McKenzie said she declined the position of acting superintendent for a second time when the D.C. school board asked her to consider the position after Sizemore left the post.
Her biggest challenge in her new post, McKenzie said, will be "helping the superintendent work through the recoganization plan. The schools system operated under one system for so long that it will be hard to change."
McKenzie said she also would like "no make the school system more responsive to the needs of poor and minority students."
She said she anticipates productive relations with the school staff and the school board. "I don't think being a black and a woman will be hard in this county. I enjoyed my working relations before when I was here."
Board Vice President Darryl Shaw said that most of the board members, who unanimously and "enthusiastically" approved the selection of McKenzie knew her from her previous position in the school system. "She has a great deal of poise and ability and has always had great relations with people," said Shaw.
McKenzie, a resident of Northeast Washington, is married to Donald McKenzie, a piano technician, and has two children, Kevin, 16, and Donna, 14. Donna is a student at Backus junior High School and Kevin attends a private school in Springfield, Va.