The deputy superintendent of schools in Prince George’s County is taking a new job in neighboring Anne Arundel County, the first high-level administrator to exit amid expected leadership changes in Maryland’s second-largest school system.
Monique Whittington Davis, in the post since 2013, is leaving in coming days, apparently ahead of embattled chief executive Kevin Maxwell, who announced May 1 that he would step down sometime after the school year ended.
Davis was Maxwell’s first leadership pick when he took over in Prince George’s in 2013. The educators had worked together in Anne Arundel, where Maxwell was superintendent, and had strong ties to Prince George’s.
Both are parting ways with Prince George’s after an extended period of controversy. Maxwell has come under fire for large pay raises to top aides, inflated graduation rates, a sex abuse scandal that raised questions about oversight and the loss of a multimillion-dollar Head Start grant.
The school board in Prince George’s is expected to begin a confidential negotiation process on the terms of Maxwell’s departure on Thursday. Maxwell, 65, has not submitted a resignation letter, and critics have alleged a “massive” severance payment is under consideration.
Segun Eubanks, chairman of the school board, has called the claims false and baseless. He congratulated Davis on Monday and wished her well. She is slated to start in Anne Arundel next week.
Davis was viewed by some as a contender for Maxwell’s job once he retired. But that seemed increasingly unlikely in recent months.
She is one of two deputy superintendents in Prince George’s. The other, Monica Goldson, focuses on teaching and learning.
Davis’s office in Prince George’s oversaw the human resources division, where unauthorized pay raises became public several months ago. She also oversaw talent development, continuous systemic improvement, state and federal programs, associate superintendents and school performance.
As part of those duties, Davis supervised several employees involved in monitoring graduation rates.
In Anne Arundel County, she will take a position as one of six regional assistant superintendents, returning to the same title she held when she left in 2013. She will oversee 23 schools in the Meade High School and Southern High School areas, officials said.
“Obviously she has some institutional knowledge about our school system and our schools, and that will be an asset to her and to us,” said Anne Arundel schools spokesman Bob Mosier. Her appointment was approved by the school board June 20.
Davis, who has spent much of her career in Prince George’s, could not be reached Monday.
A spokesman for Prince George’s schools said Davis had notified Maxwell she would be joining Anne Arundel on July 2.
Davis is also the wife of Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), an ally of County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), who supported state legislation to restructure the school system in Prince George’s.