Calvert County Public Schools Superintendent James R. Hook suffered a stroke at a school meeting last week, Deputy Superintendent J. Kenneth Horsmon confirmed.
Horsmon spoke to the Board of Education on Thursday about Hook's condition, telling them that physicians have determined that Hook suffered a stroke on Tuesday morning. Horsmon, who has been in close communication with Hook's son Kevin, said that an artery in the superintendent's neck is 90 percent blocked, a condition that will require surgery. Hook is alert and chipper, with his usual sense of humor, and shows no evidence of paralysis or permanent injury, Horsmon said.
Hook remained at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore on Friday in good condition, a hospital spokesman said.
Hook collapsed Tuesday during a meeting with high school principals. He was rushed to Calvert Memorial Hospital, and later flown to the Baltimore hospital by a Maryland State Police helicopter.
Hook, 59, came to the Calvert school system in 1966. He announced last month he would retire in June in order to spend more time with his family and new grandson. Before being permanently appointed to the superintendent post in 1998, he had served as interim superintendent in 1993 and 1997.
The school board already had designated Horsmon to take over the top spot and voted last week to make that selection official. Horsmon has indicated he will accept, and the final details of his contract are pending. With Hook's illness, Horsmon is taking over the day-to-day operations of the system.
School system employees received an e-mail Thursday about Hook's condition. A class of fifth-graders at Plum Point Elementary School, taught by Melaney Sanchez, sent a handmade card to the central office, wishing Hook well. "I hope you feel better," one student wrote.