Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell told employees Friday in an email that he isn’t interested in the eventual vacancy for the Maryland state superintendent of schools position following the news that Mohammed Choudhury will not seek a second term.
“Any time a high-profile position comes open, it is typical for discussion to quickly begin and questions to be asked about who may be interested in filling that opening,” Bedell wrote in the email obtained by Capital Gazette. “... My name has been brought up in some of that discussion and given that I have said since I arrived a year ago that I would always be transparent, I want you to hear the answer directly from me: I do not intend to seek the position being vacated by Mr. Choudhury.”
This summer, Choudhury asked to renew his contract in a letter sent to the Maryland State Board of Education. He’d told The Baltimore Sun that he was committed to staying in Maryland for a 10-year period. “I meant that,” he said. “I’ll fulfill my promise and commitment.”
However, the superintendent withdrew his request for a contract extension this month after the state board delayed making its decision. His contract is scheduled to end June 2024.
Choudhury has faced allegations this year by former department employees who said he oversaw a toxic workplace.
Bedell was announced as the AACPS superintendent in June 2022, the year after Choudhury started in Maryland.
Bedell said in his letter how proud he was of the work being done in the county, mentioning the raise in starting teacher salaries, a new math curriculum and a decrease in the number of vacant positions.
“I have said since my first day in AACPS that I consider myself lucky to be here,” Bedell wrote. “We are off to a great start this school year because in every school and department, we have great people doing great work on behalf of the 85,000 students we serve every day.”
Capital Gazette reporter Caitlyn Freeman contributed to this article.