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Kent County Public Schools is offering free summer meals for all children 18 years of age and younger. As part of the schools' efforts to ensure that children have access to healthy food during the summer months, breakfasts and lunches will be available at no charge for children. No application is required. Children do not have to be enrolled in Kent County Public Schools. Menus and more information is available at https://www.kent.k12.md.us/SchoolMenus.aspx.
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Superintendent Search

The search begins for our next superintendent (in blue and gold with KCPS logo)

On Jan. 8, 2024, the Kent County Board of Education agreed to move forward with a search for a new superintendent of schools for Kent County Public Schools, with the successful candidate to begin no later than July 1, 2024. 

We have begun the search for our new superintendent with assistance from the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE). After receiving community and stakeholder input, Kent County Board of Education members have developed the final desired superintendent characteristics and criteria with the help of MABE consultant Bill Middleton.

On Monday, June 10, the Board announced that Dr. Mary Boswell-McComas will be the next superintendent.




Our Next Superintendent

The Kent County Board of Education named Dr. Mary Boswell-McComas the next superintendent of schools Monday, June 10. From left are board members Frank Rhodes, Francoise Sullivan, Alden Swanson, Aretha Dorsey, Dr. McComas, retiring superintendent Dr. Karen Couch, Joseph Goetz, Trish McGee and Madison Messick.

Dr. Mary Boswell-McComas is bringing her decades of experience in education to Kent County Public Schools as the next superintendent.

The Kent County Board of Education ratified a contract with Dr. McComas Monday evening, June 10. Her first official day on the job will be July 1.

Dr. McComas takes the lead of the system's five schools from retiring Superintendent Dr. Karen Couch. Dr. Couch has led Kent County Public Schools since 2013.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected to serve our children and young adults in Kent County. I am excited and look forward to the collaborative partnership with the Board of Education and the entire community of Kent County," Dr. McComas said. "Together we will discover and generate new opportunities for the next generation of Kent County leaders, inventors, creators and artists. I believe in us!”

Joseph Goetz, president of the board, said at the June 10 meeting that they had a great slate of candidates for the superintendent position.

"But there was one candidate, Dr. McComas, you stood higher, you were bolder," Goetz said after the contract was approved.

Dr. Mary Boswell-McComas
Dr. Mary Boswell-McComas

Dr. McComas also received warm and welcoming comments from other members of the board, Kent County Public Schools staff and community members present at the June 10 meeting.

Dr. McComas is currently the principal of Sparrows Point Middle School in Baltimore County Public Schools. She has nearly three decades of experience in public education, having started as a social studies teacher in Harford County Public Schools. 

She rose through the administrative ranks in school-level and system-wide leadership roles, including serving as the chief academic officer for Baltimore County Public Schools.

Dr. McComas also served in the U.S. Army Reserves, attaining the rank of company commander, captain.

"Whether in the classroom as a teacher, chief academic officer or principal, I always keep sight of the bottom line — the children," Dr. McComas wrote in her biography.

The search for a new superintendent here started in January, when Dr. Couch announced her plans to retirement.

The Kent County Board of Education contracted with the Maryland Association of Boards of Education to conduct the search for the next superintendent. 

Applications were due in early April and three finalists were announced May 13 following initial interview rounds.

The finalists individually toured each of the schools later in May, meeting students, teachers, staff and administrators. 

They interviewed with community stakeholders, the executive leadership team for the school system and again with the board.

Dr. McComas made her rounds at the schools and the central office Thursday, May 23.

"I want to thank all of the stakeholders that participated in the superintendent search process," Goetz said. "The students, the staff, the teachers, the folks in the public, they were with us every step of the way."




Leading the Search

On Jan. 23, 2024, the Kent County Board of Education approved a contract for MABE to serve as the search consultants.

MABE logo (Maryland Association of Boards of Education

The search process information  below was presented to the Kent County Board of Education on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 by Milton Nagel, executive director of MABE, and William Middleton, lead consultant.




The Hiring Process

Applications for superintendent closed Monday, April 8.

Job search iconLearn more about the type of leader we are looking for and the search process here.

Application and Interview Timeline
• First consideration application deadline is April 8, 2024.
• Interviews will be conducted in April and May, 2024.
• Position start date is July 1, 2024.
• The position will remain open until filled.

Contact:
William T. Middleton, Lead Consultant
MABE Superintendent Search Service
621 Ridgely Ave., Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-5414
800-8197




Purpose

Fair scales icon
Plan and execute a search process that is thoughtful, responsive and fair



Procedure icon
Minimize the possibility of legal challenges as a result of procedural flaws



Leader icon
Identify the best leader for your school system




Phases of the Superintendent Search

Phase Blocks with Roman numerals 1-4

1. PLANNING THE SEARCH

Action Items:
• Selecting a firm
• Developing characteristics and criteria

Who is Involved:
• Board of Education
• Stakeholders via survey
• Consultants
 
Time:
1 to 2 months


2. ADVERTISING AND RECRUITING

Action Items:
• Application
• Brochure/Flyer
• Advertise

Who is Involved:
• Board of Education
• Public Information Officer
• Consultants

Time:
1 to 2 months








WE'RE HERE!

3. CANDIDATE SCREENING

Action Items:
• Review and rank applicants
• Interviews (multiple rounds)
• Check references
• Conduct focus groups

Who is Involved:
• Board of Education
• Stakeholder Input
• Public Information Officers
• Consultants

Time:
2 to 3 months



4. APPOINTING A NEW SUPERINTENDENT

Action Items:
• Contract Negotiations
• Public Appointment

Who is Involved:
• Board of Education
• Board Attorney
• Public Information Officer
• Maryland State Superintendent
• Consultants
 
Deadline:
July 1, 2024




State Certification Requirements

Maryland flag
There are two paths to certification to be a county superintendent of schools as stated below from the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR):

State Certification – COMAR Sec. 13a.12.04.03. Superintendents (Last Updated: April 6, 2021)
Traditional Certification
(3) Education Requirements for Traditional Certification. The applicant shall have:
     (a) A master's degree from an Institution of Higher Education (IHE); and
     (b) Have completed one of the following:
          (i) A Maryland State Department of Education-approved program which leads to certification as a superintendent to include coursework covering public school administration, supervision and methods of teaching;
          (ii) A program offered by an IHE leading to certification as a superintendent in the state in which the institution is located to include coursework covering public school administration, supervision and methods of teaching; or
          (iii) 60 semester hours of graduate course work, including a minimum of 24 semester hours in education administration taken at an IHE, to include public school administration, supervision and methods of teaching. Graduate coursework earned under §B(3)(a) of this regulation may be applied toward the 60 required semester hours.
(4) Experience Requirements for Traditional Certification. The applicant shall have:
     (a) 27 months of satisfactory teaching performance or satisfactory performance as a certified specialist as defined in COMAR 13A.12.03 in a PreK-12 setting; and
     (b) 24 months of satisfactory administrative or supervisory experience in a PreK-12 setting.
 
State Certification – COMAR Sec. 13a.12.04.03. Superintendents (Last Updated: April 6, 2021)
Reciprocal Certification
(5) Requirements for Reciprocal Certification. A superintendent who enters Maryland from another state may obtain a Superintendent II certification if that individual:
     (a) Holds a valid professional state certificate in a like or comparable area;
     (b) Presents verification of at least 36 months of satisfactory performance as a superintendent during the past 7 years; and
     (c) Presents verification of 2 years of graduate work at an IHE to include coursework covering public school administration, supervision and methods of teaching.




The Screening Process


Took people shaking hands and holding a resume
STAGE 1
• Review and rank applications based on established criteria and characteristics
• Identify candidates for first-round interview
• Agree on interview questions
• Conduct first-round interviews
 
STAGE 2
• Based on first-round interviews, identify candidates for second (open-ended) interviews if desired
• Perform deeper reference and background checks, maintaining candidate confidentiality
• Establish an interview schedule
• Conduct second-round interviews

STAGE 3 
• Based on interviews, identify and announce finalists
• Schedule each finalist for a stakeholder meeting(s) and a final meeting with the Board of Education
• Complete additional reference, internet and background checks
• Schedule site visits if desired
• Review all finalist materials and rank order them
• Select and contact the top candidate
• Contact state superintendent for approval of the prefered candidate to initiate a conversation between the candidate and the state superintendent



 

Board of Education's Role

The kent County Board of education with photo of the board room and headshots of all six board members.

The Kent County Board of Education controls the superintendent search process. Stakeholder and consultant involvement informs the Board’s deliberations, but ultimately the Board is responsible for all decisions.

In addition, confidentiality is crucial to ensuring a smooth transition and a successful start for a new superintendent.

Joseph Goetz, president of the Kent County Board of Education, has been appointed as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the superintendent search process.




MABE Presentation

Click the video below to see the presentation by Milton Nagel and William Middleton of MABE to the Kent County Board of Education on Monday, Jan. 23, 2024.