Carroll County Public Schools has added a position in central office to focus on equity, student success and more.
The Board of Education unanimously approved the hiring of Jason Anderson on Wednesday night, to fill the role of executive director of school performance, equity and accountability.
Anderson brings experience from working as a classroom teacher, a teacher specialist for professional development, principal of a gifted and talented magnet school, as well as two Title I schools and as an executive director for curriculum, instruction and innovation.
Superintendent Steve Lockard, in an interview with the Times, said the position will not have a financial impact, because it was created through restructuring and using existing FTE.
“We’re not adding anything more, we’re sort of shifting responsibilities,” Lockard said, and called the position “cost-neutral.”
The new position will work closely with both senior leaders and school-based leaders, he said.
Anderson, who grew up on the Frederick side of Mount Airy, said in an interview with the Times that he’s excited to have the opportunity to come and work in a community that’s so close to home.
And while he said he spent some time in the private sector, he knew he wanted to service the community and return to a position in public service. Anderson said he is excited to be in a position that works on school performance and equity.
“This is my passion,” he said.
Anderson said he’s ready to help accelerate achievement, “whether we’re talking about gifted and talented students or whether we’re talking about historically underperforming student populations, whatever it is, my creed if you will, is to serve.”
This position will report to Lockard.
Under the executive director will be: Gregory Bricca, now the chief of strategic planning and system performance but formerly the director of research and accountability; Judy Jones, the supervisor of equity and community outreach; Steve Wernick, the supervisor of Title I; Pam Mesta, the supervisor of ESOL; Patty Burns, the coordinator of interpretation and translation services; and Advanced Academic Programs, which is a new standalone position that is currently a placeholder as CCPS works to review and develop advanced academic programs and offerings at all levels.
This position will focus in on Pillars I, II and III of the strategic plan that the school board has been working on, he added.
The first pillar is to provide multiple pathway opportunities for student success; the second pillar is to strengthen productive family and community partnerships; the third pillar is to develop and support a successful workforce; and the fourth pillar is to establish safe, secure, healthy and modern learning environments.
“I believe these changes put some systemic focus and support behind our strategic plan priorities,” Lockard said, adding that it will help provide direct support to schools.
Lockard said while CCPS has been doing a good job with working with schools and providing resources with what they have, this position is a way to bolster that.
Lockard said when he came in, he started to look at central office and wanted to make some organizational tweaks to align positions to the work in the strategic plan to help move schools forward.
He said he asked about any current vacancies, and looked to make sure the positions that existed still make sense.
“It’s a pretty standard sort of practice,” he added.
Board members expressed strong support of Anderson and welcomed him to CCPS prior to the vote.
BOE Vice President Donna Sivigny said focusing on accountability, measures of success and the strategic plan have been areas of focus that are really important to her, and that she was excited to see a position that deals specifically with those areas, something board member Devon Rothschild echoed.
Latest Carroll County Education
“I am so excited that we are now going to have a person who is in charge of the things … that are the most important to us,” Rothschild said.