Challenge for new school chief Selection of William Hyde mirrors other suburbs that have tapped home-grown talent.


CHALLENGES facing Carroll's new school superintendent, the county's third in less than five years, are the same ones that face other fast-growing counties: pupil-population explosion, soaring budgets, hard decisions to make on school construction, maintaining progress on state tests.

There is no magic formula to deal successfully with these common issues. The best answers are based on experience and understanding of local conditions.

That is something that William H. Hyde brings to the job, after more than a decade as the county assistant superintendent for administration and a long career in education. The 56-year-old Frostburg native also spent years as a counselor in vocational training of developmentally disabled persons, adding to his background a sound understanding of special education.

His education career has largely been in management rather than in classroom teaching. But administrative and budgeting skills are distinct assets for a burgeoning school system that has grown by one-third since Mr. Hyde came on board in 1987.

A projected operating deficit of $16 million within four years and the completion of six school buildings in that span will test the talents of Mr. Hyde, as will the two-stage move of Carroll school headquarters.

Scores of Carroll students on state tests seem to have leveled off, after years of improvement. Mr. Hyde will be challenged to spark a resurgence in scores, and to reach the state-set achievement goals.

Mr. Hyde's four-year contract to lead Carroll's schools follows a recent pattern of counties in the Baltimore metropolitan area of finding new leaders within their own systems. Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties have done so in recent years, and Harford County appears headed in that direction. But the new Carroll superintendent is not just the best of home-grown talent. His career credentials match up well to the needs and capabilities of this growing school system.

Pub Date: 6/17/98

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