CCPS school board to vote on Redistricting and School Closure Committee members, facilitator

Emily Chappell
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

The Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education will vote Wednesday on the members of the Redistricting and School Closure Committee.

The committee will be tasked with developing and presenting multiple options for comprehensive redistricting and school closures to the Board of Education and the superintendent, and will be comprised of five parents; two members of the business community; one member of county government; two school system employee group representatives; three members of the CCPS staff; and a paid facilitator, David Lever, the former executive director of a nonpartisan state agency.

In December, the school board laid out three broad parameters — looking at redistricting, school closures and any innovation that they can come up with to improve education in the county.

Lever, of Annapolis, comes to CCPS after having worked as the executive director of the Interagency Committee on School Construction, a nonpartisan state agency that recommends which projects the state should fund. He resigned from the position in May of 2016.

Superintendent Stephen Guthrie said Lever will be paid $150 an hour, not to exceed a total of $25,000 for the entire process.

“This was an extremely good rate,” Guthrie said, nothing it is lower than many others often charge for this type of work.

For comparison, Paula Singer, the CEO of The Singer Group, a Reisterstown consulting firm contracted with the county to facilitate discussions for the Combined Education Committee, was paid $295 an hour for on-site work at the county meetings and $250 per hour for preparatory work done off site.

Guthrie said he anticipates there will be 12 meetings for the RSCC committee, and Lever won’t be a voting member.

Lever was the school board’s top choice for the position, Guthrie said, because he’s done consultant work for other counties, has background knowledge in the field and isn’t connected to Carroll.

“The board wanted someone that knew Carroll County but truly did not have a connection to our schools,” BOE President Bob Lord said. “He was the board’s first choice, and we’re very, very grateful that he accepted the position.”

Lever said he was approached about the position by Guthrie, and told him he would be “very interested” in working as the facilitator of the group. He said as an outsider to Carroll, he can bring objectivity to the committee.

“I don’t have a stake in the outcome myself,” Lever said.

Lever thinks that the group’s first meeting will be held sometime in March, he said. Lord said the meetings will be open to the public.

Lever said in addition to his impartiality, and his time spent working for the state, he now has his own consultant practice, Educational Facilities Planning LLC, and works with a number of school systems in the state.

In addition to Lever, pending Wednesday’s vote, the committee is proposed to be made up of the following: Robert McCarthy, a parent of an Oklahoma Road Middle School student; Rita Misra, a parent of a South Carroll High School student; Christina McGann, a parent of a Shiloh Middle School student; Vaughn Paylor, a parent of a Winters Mill High School student and a member of the county’s NAACP chapter; Rosemary Kitzinger, a parent of a Runnymede Elementary School student who was nominated by the Special Education Citizens’ Advisory Committee; Steven Aquino, of the Aquino Financial Group, and Jon Weetman, a local attorney, both of whom were nominated by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce; Denise Beaver, deputy director for the Carroll County Department of Economic Development; Erin Yeagley, the UniServ director for the Carroll County Education Association, and Sean McKillop, the UniServ Director for the Carroll Association of School Employees, both of whom were nominated by the associations and unions; Ray Prokop, director of the CCPS Facilities Management Department; Mike Hardesty, the director of CCPS Transportation Services; and Margaret Pfaff, the CCPS director of curriculum and instructional resources.

emily.chappell@carrollcountytimes.com

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