Interim Harford school superintendent to be named in June

Harford County school leaders plan to name an interim superintendent to succeed outgoing Superintendent Robert Tomback by the end of the school year, before embarking on a search for a permanent superintendent, Board of Education President Francis "Rick" Grambo III said Monday.

"We are currently working to select an interim superintendent, and hope to make an announcement by June 10 of this school year," Grambo announced during Monday evening's board meeting, reading from prepared remarks.

The interim superintendent would be appointed to a one-year term and would be able to apply for the position of permanent superintendent.

Grambo said the process of selecting a permanent superintendent would begin this fall.

"In order to allow more time to sufficiently gather feedback and input from the parents, students, staff and community regarding desired criteria for our next superintendent, we have decided it would be prudent to appoint an interim superintendent to serve a one-year term," he explained in his remarks.

The board president stressed the need to involve the entire community in the selection process.

"The board feels it is vital that it seek input from all of our stakeholders before making the decision to appoint the next superintendent," Grambo said.

Tomback announced earlier this month he would be leaving the post he has held since 2009 "to pursue other opportunities." He will be stepping down when the school year ends in June, which coincides with the four-year contract he signed in June 2009. Tomback is paid $190,000 a year.

Board member Robert Frisch told Joppa-area residents soon after Tomback's announcement that "the board is not going to be rushed" in its selection of a new superintendent.

Grambo stated Monday that school officials must "ensure that this process does not interfere with our mission and responsibility of instructing our students and preparing them for a successful life beyond Harford County Public Schools."

The board president said he and his fellow board members have been working since Tomback's announcement "to create a timeline and a process" for the selection.

Frisch previously described the school board's search options during the Feb. 4 Joppa-Joppatowne Community Council meeting. Members can hire an outside firm; they can conduct the search themselves, or consider a "hybrid" option, with a private firm taking on some search duties and the school board taking on others.

Grambo pledged Monday to work closely with the community throughout the search process, which he said is still in the developmental stages.

"A communication plan and search process timeline will be developed over the summer and made promptly available to the public," he said. "We encourage you to become involved in the search process for the permanent superintendent, as this decision is one that affects all of us."

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