Prince George’s County schools chief Kevin M. Maxwell has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year for his work in his previous job as head of the Anne Arundel County school system.
Maxwell was one of four finalists announced Wednesday by the American Association of School Administrators.
Maxwell was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year in October for his leadership, dedication to academic achievement and community engagement.
“I’m extremely honored and very proud,” Maxwell said. “This recognition, as I said before, is one I share with a great number of people in Anne Arundel County because it is the work that we did together that is reflected in this honor.”
Maxwell served as Anne Arundel superintendent for seven years, leaving in July to take the job as schools chief executive in Prince George’s. County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), who persuaded state lawmakers last year to change the school governance structure, hired Maxwell to turn around the school system, one of the worst-performing in the state.
“We’re really thrilled,” Baker said Wednesday. “We knew he was one of the best in the state, and we believed he was one of the best in the country, and this confirms it. It is not just a big deal for him and his family but for the state and the county, and it bodes well for our school system moving forward.”
Maxwell started his career in Prince George’s in 1978 and worked as a teacher, principal and administrator in county schools. He then worked in Montgomery County from 2000 to 2006 as a principal and community superintendent.
During his time in Anne Arundel, enrollment in Advanced Placement courses jumped by 36 percent, and the number of students taking AP exams increased by 76 percent.
Maxwell also increased the number of magnet programs offered in Anne Arundel from two programs in four schools to eight programs in 16 schools. He was named Arts Education Advocate of the Year by the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance in 2010 for his efforts to bolster arts programs in Anne Arundel, which included the opening of the county’s first performing and visual arts magnet program at Bates Middle School.
The other national finalists are Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade schools; Terry Grier, superintendent of the Houston Independent School District; and Michele Taylor, superintendent in Calhoun City, Ga.
The winner will be announced next month at the AASA’s National Conference on Education.