Successful Learning for All Students
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Congratulations to Dr. Karen Couch for being chosen as Kent County Public School's next Superintendent!
Dr. Karen Couch to Serve as Next Superintendent of Kent County Public Schools
The Board of Education of Kent County, Maryland is pleased to announce that the next superintendent of Kent County Public Schools (KCPS) will be Dr. Karen A. Couch. Dr. Couch, currently completing her 12th year as superintendent of the Edgewood-Moriarty School District in New Mexico, has received numerous educational leadership awards throughout her career, including New Mexico Superintendent of the Year for 2010, and New Mexico Personnel Administrator of the Year. During her tenure as an elementary principal in Alamogordo, her school received a New Mexico Blue Ribbon School Award. This year, her 3,200-student Edgewood-Moriarty School District is ranked fourth among New Mexico’s large school districts by Albuquerque Business First, New Mexico’s business newspaper.
Dr. Couch will assume her new position as KCPS superintendent on July 1, 2013. She will serve a four- year, renewable term. Her selection caps a months- long search that began in December 2012, when Dr. A. Barbara Wheeler, who is in the final year of her four-year term as KCPS Superintendent after serving as interim superintendent for a year, decided not to seek another term. The KCPS Board of Education turned for assistance with the search to the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), and designated Board member Jeff Reed as the primary search liaison for the Board.
Working with Mr. Reed and the other Board members, MABE’s consultants designed a process that began with five community forums in January to get input from students, parents, teachers and other school system employees, business leaders, and other community members about the fundamental characteristics sought in a superintendent, and the critical challenges and opportunities facing Kent County and its school system. Feedback from these community forums guided the Board in developing a job description and position announcement. The search resulted in 19 candidates. A review by the five Board of Education members reduced this to seven quarterfinalists. Face-to-face interviews in April resulted in the list being winnowed to five semifinalists; another round of interviews yielded three finalists.
In mid-May each finalist visited Kent County for a daylong series of meetings with focus groups representing a broad range of stakeholders. The Board considered feedback from all the focus groups in making its decision. “We greatly appreciate the time and dedication of so many people in our community,” said A. Bryan Williams, president of the Kent County Board of Education, “who came together to participate in this process. As a board it was important to all five of us to listen carefully to what the members of our community wanted to say, what they believe about the future of our school system, and what they think it takes to lead our schools.” At the end of the process, Dr. Couch emerged as the Board’s consensus choice.
Bill Middleton, MABE search consultant and former superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools, was pleased with how the search proceeded: “We were struck by the depth of the candidate pool. Clearly, a lot of very talented and experienced people were eager for the opportunity to lead Kent County's public school system. And based on everything we learned about Dr. Karen Couch during the process, I think Kent County is getting a top-notch educational leader.”
Dr. Couch has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from New Mexico State University, and 30 years experience as a superintendent, associate superintendent for personnel, elementary principal, and teacher. “The Board is excited,” said Vice-President Jeff Reed, “and eager to get to work with Dr. Couch to build a great school system.”
For the past 12 years Dr. Couch has served as superintendent of a rural New Mexico district of about 3200 students. She has built her district, Edgewood-Moriarty, into one of the highest- achieving school districts in New Mexico. Under her leadership, the district has been recognized for improving student learning through the adoption of research-based programs and a continuous improvement framework. Her desire to create a permanent solution for saving money and balancing the District’s budget led her to partner with Honeywell to create an energy awareness and conservation program that received national recognition. At the state level, Dr. Couch chaired the New Mexico Professional Development Dossier Project, which established a career ladder for teachers and led statewide reform initiatives to revise principal and teacher evaluations. She is Past President of the New Mexico Superintendent's Association and serves on the Governing Council of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).
Dr. Couch is passionate about community involvement and has held leadership positions in the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and United Way. She received the Woman of Merit award for her service to the community while residing in Alamogordo, NM.
The contract between Kent County Public Schools and Dr. Couch will be voted on and signed in open session at the June 3 Kent County Board of Education meeting.
2013 Teacher of the Year
At the Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 25, 2013, Mrs. Ellen Chamberlin (shown here with RHES Principal Brenda Rose) was chosen as the Kent County Public School Teacher of the Year for 2013.
Mrs.Chamberlin is a graduate of Delaware State University and Capella University and is a Fourth Grade teacher at Rock Hall Elementary School. She was hired on July 1, 1991 and has worked at Chestertown Middle, Galena Elementary and Rock Hall Elementary during her 21 years with Kent County Public Schools. "Mrs. Chamberlin goes above and beyond for her students, having lunch with them, helping students during her planningg- thus building a confidence and rapport with each and every one of her students on an individual basis. She strives to bring out the very best in students and is as excited as they are to watch them succeed." Brenda Rose, Principal.
2013 Support Employee of the Year
At the Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 25, 2013, Mrs. Tanisha Phillips was chosen as Kent County Public School Support Employee of the Year for 2013.
Tanisha Phillips is the Home Interventionist for Kent County Public Schools and currently works at H. H. Garnett Elementary School. Before her current position, Ms. Phillips was a substitute teacher, a Media Instructional Assistant at Chestertown Middle School and a Guidance Counselor at Kent County High School. Mrs. Phillips received her Bachelor's Degree from Delaware State University and her Master's Degree from Wilmington University. "Mrs. Tanisha Phillips is truly an extraordinary example of a model support employee." -Cheryl Vauls, Principal, HHGES
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