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Prince George's County Picks Calif. Man as Schools Chief

Comment from Annie: The decision is most likely final for the new school superintendent in Prince Georges County, just outside of Washington D.C. The (soon) new superintendent is a graduate of the Broad Academy training for superintendents. He has also left 2 previous positions after signing contracts of commitment. ( see: http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/the_lookout.htm and http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2004/April-2004/04_09_04_Part_I_Change_Agent.htm )

The Prince George's County school board has chosen a Southern California superintendent as the likely next chief executive officer of the 133,000-student system, officials said this morning.

John E. Deasy, 45, who heads the 14,000-student Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, was picked from among three finalists after public auditions this week. He beat out two longtime New York educators: Marcia V. Lyles, who oversees schools with 80,000 students in Brooklyn; and W.L. "Tony" Sawyer, who headed Manhattan high schools before moving recently to lead the 13,400-student Topeka, Kan., school system.

The board arrived at the decision Wednesday night, according to three senior school system sources. One top source with first-hand knowledge called the pick of Deasy "a bold decision" and said he had impressed Prince George's officials as an educator with "a young, energetic, creative mind."

The school board made the choice official this morning in a press release.

"I am pleased to report that Dr. Deasy is the lead candidate as a result of being the clear consensus choice of the board and our many stakeholder groups," board member Charlene M. Dukes (Glenn Dale) said in a prepared statement.

The school board notified Maryland Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick of the decision late Wednesday.

The board will further investigate Deasy and enter into contract negotiations before taking a formal vote to hire him. The schools chief position in Prince George's opened up last spring after Andre J. Hornsby resigned amid an ethics controversy.

The school board advertised the position as paying a minimum of $250,000 a year, which is comparable to what other local superintendents make.

Deasy, who is white, would be the first schools chief in more than a decade who is not African American to head the majority-black system. Before his stint in Santa Monica-Malibu, he headed a smaller system in Coventry, R.I.

— Nick Anderson
The Washington Post





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