Another former Baltimore school board member has landed a high-paying job with the school system.
Tina Hike-Hubbard, who left the board in January 2018, was recently named the district’s chief of communications and community engagement. Starting in March, she will oversee community engagement, partnerships, communications and enrollment.
It’s the second time in the last year that a former board member has been hired by the district.
Peter Kannam, who served as the board’s vice chair through June 2018, was named principal of the Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School the next month. He was appointed to lead the charter school based on the recommendation of the Henderson-Hopkins operator, which did a national search.
As school board members, neither Kannam nor Hike-Hubbard were paid. Kannam now earns $123,137 and Hike Hubbard will be paid $183,750, according to a district spokeswoman.
The district’s ethics policy forbids a school board member from being employed by the system for at least one year following their departure. But that doesn’t apply to people who have been previously employed by the district, like Kannam, who was a city school teacher in the 1990s.
The practice has been controversial in the past. A decade ago, the school board voted to hire its departing chairman, Brian Morris, for a newly created, six-figure job as deputy CEO for operations. A scandal quickly derailed those plans: Within a week, Morris resigned amid questions about the hiring process and his history of financial troubles.
Since then, a couple of other former school board members have returned to do work with the district.
Hike-Hubbard returns to the school system from Enterprise Community Partners, where she was the senior director of education for the mid-Atlantic market. In the 1990s, she was a middle school teacher in Baltimore through Teach for America. She’s served on boards for the Fund for Educational Excellence, Baltimore Curriculum Project and other groups.
“This is a time of tremendous opportunity for City Schools,” Hike-Hubbard said in a statement. “I am honored to have this new opportunity to serve our students, families, staff, and city, and excited to contribute to the upward trajectory of our schools.”
Schools CEO Sonja Santelises, in a statement, praised Hike-Hubbard’s knowledge of the city and work in the community.
“She brings commitment, passion, and expertise to our effort to build the City Schools community and provide access to high-quality programs across the city,” she said. “I couldn’t be more excited to have her as part of our team.”