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Foose names former colleague Howard accountability officer

Elizabeth Grace Chesney, a former colleague of Howard Superintendent Renee Foose, has been named the school system's Chief Accountability Officer.

Foose's announcement of Chesney came Thursday, Aug. 16, followed immediately by a unanimous approval from the Board of Education at its meeting.

Chesney, previously the executive director of research, accountability, assessment and data warehouse for the Baltimore County Public School system, was not present for her appointment.

"Ms. Chesney comes to us well-respected and well-known in the accountability arena," Foose said. "She comes to us with a wealth of information and a very strong background and a firm understanding of the work we need to do in the Howard County Public School System as we continue to move forward."

Chesney has been an educator for more than 20 years. She was a middle school math teacher in Lexington, Ky., for nine years before moving to Maryland and becoming a math specialist in the Montgomery County Public School system in 2000. In 2005, she became coordinator of middle school initiatives. A year later, she became the school system's coordinator of assessment.

She spent three years as Montgomery County's supervisor of testing before leaving in 2011 to take the accountability position in Baltimore County.

Foose has stressed accountability and transparency in the school system as part of her entry plan. She announced the creation of the position in July, shortly after taking over for the retiring Sydney Cousin. The accountability officer, Foose said in July, will oversee an entire division geared toward transparency and accountability, and will work with departments related to applied research, testing, program evaluations, technology and auditing.

This is the third time Foose has worked with Chesney. Foose was part of the Montgomery system from 2006-2011, acting as a principal, director of school performance, and director of shared accountability before being named associate superintendent in 2009. She was deputy superintendent in Baltimore County the same year Chesney became the accountability director.

Chesney is the second former colleague of Foose to assume a new position in Howard County. Rebecca Amani-Dove, the new director of communications, was a part of Montgomery schools from 2006-2011 before becoming the director of student assessment and program evaluation in Howard County.

During her time in Montgomery County, Amani-Dove was an assessment specialist, coordinator of special initiatives and, for a time, Foose's assistant for shared accountability.

During its Thursday meeting, the board also approved several other transfers and promotions, including the official appointment of former Chief Operating Officer Ray Brown as deputy superintendent of operations, and the appointment of Patricia Daley, former director of special education as director of special education and student services, a position for which she had been acting director after the retirement of Pamela Blackwell.

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