The Frederick County school board yesterday named Linda Burgee interim superintendent, replacing Jack D. Dale, who will depart July 1 to become Fairfax County superintendent.
Burgee, one of two assistant superintendents in Frederick, will begin a one-year term next month, while the board searches for a permanent replacement for Dale. She was chosen in a unanimous vote by the school board yesterday morning.
In an interview after her appointment was announced, Burgee said she had "definitely expressed interest" in the permanent position.
Burgee, 49, a Frederick native, joined the school administration as associate superintendent five months ago after six years as an instructional director, in which role she trained and supervised elementary school principals.
As associate superintendent, she oversees the county's 35 elementary schools and is responsible for implementing a five-year improvement plan. Burgee said she will continue to pursue the plan as superintendent, paying particular attention to closing the system's "achievement gap," or the disparity in the achievement test scores of white and minority students.
After he took the Fairfax job, Dale criticized Frederick's process for funding the school system's budget, which is set after a long debate over individual line items. Dale said he would have preferred that the budget be pegged to a fixed percentage of the county budget or county revenue to assist in yearly planning and avoid the annual haggling.
Burgee, who board members say is well known in Frederick political circles, said she plans to "go back and revisit the budget."
"We're getting the most support [the county is] able to provide at this time," she said. "But we have a long way to go."
Burgee attended Frederick County public schools. She has a master's degree in elementary curriculum and instruction from Hood College in Frederick and a doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
School board President Linda S. Naylor and Vice President Michael Schaden would not say how many candidates the board interviewed for the interim slot. They said some of them are still candidates for the permanent job.
Board members say they intend to search outside the district for a superintendent, as they did for Dale, who is from Washington state. But Naylor said a candidate from within the county would be "a bonus."