Prince George's School Superintendent Iris T. Metts has named five area superintendents as part of a new management structure that she proposed for the county's schools.
The 185 schools in the state's largest system are grouped into 20 clusters, each overseen by a chief educational administrator who is also a principal. Metts, who took office July 1, believes that those administrators were overworked because of their dual roles.
In the new structure, each of the five area superintendents will oversee a cluster of 37 to 42 schools.
At the county's Board of Education meeting last week, Metts recommended Parkdale High School Principal William LeFevre; Oxon Hill High Principal David Stofa; Eleanor White, acting personnel director; Marcus Newsome, director of student support programs; and Fort Washington Forest Principal Beatrice Largay to fill the new positions. The board approved that list.
Stofa will oversee the Crossland, Friendly, Oxon Hill and Potomac clusters.
White will oversee Bladensburg, DuVal, Fairmont Heights and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Newsome will oversee Central, Forestville, Largo and Suitland.
Largay will oversee Bowie, Frederick Douglass, Gwynn Park and Surrattsville.
LeFevre will oversee High Point, Laurel, Northwestern and Parkdale.
Metts said she interviewed a number of principals and administrators before choosing these five, who she said all have good leadership skills.
She said she believes her new management structure will bring more accountability to the system because the five area superintendents--or regional directors, as they will be called--will report to her four deputies and herself.
"I just think this works better for a big system like ours," she said.
Her predecessor, Jerome Clark, moved to the more decentralized system because he believed that what worked for one cluster of schools might not be good for another and decided there should be more autonomy.
But many principals and teachers in the system complained that some of the 20 clusters appeared better run than others.
Odds and Ends
Metts said that she is going to send out extra teachers to relieve the crowding in some schools. She said she has not yet developed specifics but will fund the project out of a $2 million federal grant that is earmarked for reducing class sizes in kindergarten through third grade. . . . The school board delayed a vote on its five-year school building plan and will hold a special meeting to discuss it before voting on it at the Sept. 26 board meeting. . . . The school system will host a formal reception for Metts on Nov. 12 at a conference center in Greenbelt.