Brian Lockard
Brian Lockard

Brian Lockard was a giant in the field of education in Carroll County, serving 33 years in Carroll County Public Schools, including as superintendent and, later, as professor of education at McDaniel College. Those who knew Lockard professionally say he built a legacy that persists till this day, but it was his humility, humanity and caring that sticks with those who knew him.

Lockard died Tuesday, Jan. 17, from complications from Alzheimer's at Copper Ridge in Sykesville. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Lynda; son, Steven Andrew Lockard, and his wife, Patricia, of Frederick; daughter, Laura Lockard Francisco, and her husband, Jody, of Frederick; and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.


He was 73.

"He was just a great, great man," said Skip Fennell, professor emeritus of education at McDaniel College, who has known Lockard since 1976. "As I think about the people who are really important in public education, particularly within Carroll County Public Schools, Brian Lockard's legacy is one of those things I believe people will talk about for a long time to come."

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Born in Baltimore on Sept. 2, 1943, Lockard graduated from Westminster Senior High School in 1961, beginning what his son said was a love affair with Carroll County.

"Obviously, he was so proud of the school system that he worked in but also his roots, friends and family," Steven Lockard said. "He loved everything about it."

After earning a bachelor's degree in education from Frostburg State College, Lockard returned to Carroll to plant roots both personal and professional — he began teaching at Freedom Elementary in 1965, and would later serve as the principal of Charles Carroll Elementary and, in 1976, help open Westminster Elementary.

Even as he moved into administrative roles with more responsibility, Lockard never lost touch with the desire and the commitment to teaching, according to Fennell.

Fennell has long held professional development courses in mathematics for Carroll County Public School teachers, and being one of those people who "never throws away grade books," he found himself looking through a grade book on Wednesday morning after he learned of Lockard's death. The book was dated 1980, Fennell said, and there in his roster was written "B. Lockard."

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"I thought, here is Brian Lockard, who at that time was the supervisor of elementary education, taking the time out of his schedule to be a member — an active member I might add — of that class. Showing to the other teachers in that class that professional development," Fennel said. "That's the sort of professionalism that Brian brought forth every day."

Stephen Guthrie, the current superintendent of the school system, met Lockard in 1991, not long before Lockard began his own tenure as superintendent in 1994.

"I worked with him on different projects and found him to be a high quality, very caring person whose goals really reflected what we would consider now the goals of Carroll County Public Schools — that every student gets a quality education tailored to their needs," Guthrie said. "He put a lot of programs in place that we still have today."

During his time in human resources in the school system central office, Guthrie said he experienced a number of different superintendents with various management styles, but when most of them wanted to see him, he would get a call, "The superintendent wants to see you."

Not Lockard.

"When Brian wanted to see you as superintendent, he didn't call you up to his office, he came to see you," Guthrie said. "He didn't put himself above anybody, even though he had an important position. He just felt that everybody was on the same level."

Not only would Lockard come to see the people who worked for him or his colleagues, they knew that if he paid you such a visit, he was really interested in what you had to say, according to Fennell.


"If you ever had a conversation with Brian Lockard, you knew he was listening. You knew he would take whatever you had to say, whether he agreed with it or not, and give it very serious consideration," Fennell said. "He was just one of those people."

In 1998, Lockard left Carroll County Public Schools after a 33-year career to become Fennell's colleague at McDaniel College as an associate professor of education. Lockard would chair the education department from 1999 until 2004 and was instrumental in helping the college earn national accreditation in education, according to Fennell, but he remembers his friend and colleague as being so much more than the sum of his accomplishments.

"The professional contributions are certainly important, but I think the balance that he had with regards to enjoying life — and in particular, in enjoying his family — are also important," Fennell said.

Steven Lockard said one of his earliest memories of his father was his becoming a principal and how much Brian Lockard loved that work.

But "his love and passion for his work were never outdone by his love of family," Steven Lockard said. "It seemed like he was at every one of my soccer games, and I am sure Laura can say the same thing about her dance lessons; he was just a big part of lives in terms of everything we did."

Lockard seemed to have a talent for not only putting family first, but finding ways to balance his considerable professional accomplishments — according to his daughter, Laura Francisco, his continuing education, first earning a master's degree in school administration from what was then Western Maryland College and later a doctorate from American University — with that principle.

"This was prior to any virtual learning, or distance learning. He would go to Washington, D.C., from Westminster two to three times a week for a few years," she said. "I don't remember ever feeling like, 'Dad isn't here because he's studying.' Somehow he pulled that off, he didn't miss a single thing."

Once Steven Lockard and Francisco were grown and married, and had children, Brian Lockard was as much an attentive grandfather as he had been father to his children.

"Each [grandchild] had a special song he made up that he would sing to them and he would get down on the floor and play with them," Francisco said.

Lockard did love to sing, both for the now disbanded Carroll County Choral Society and in the choir of his church, Westminster United Methodist.

He was also involved on the boards of numerous Carroll County institutions and nonprofits, from the Union Mills Homestead, to Carroll Hospice, Rape Crisis and the 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program of Carroll County, among others.

"Brian served as a board member for the 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program of Carroll County for many years, and provided a great deal of wisdom and support for planning and maintaining the program," said Karen Scott, a longtime member of the program who was familiar with Lockard's work there. "In all areas, Brian was a true leader and model of integrity — so brilliant and with a true heart for students with special needs. He will be greatly missed."

Neither Steven Lockard nor Francisco inherited their father's love of singing, though they are each musical in their own way. Steven Lockard plays drums, Francisco violin and piano.


Yet it was the family business, public education, that proved the strongest legacy Lockard left his children.

"I spent the bulk of my career in Frederick County Public Schools, but now am in Fairfax County, Virginia, as interim superintendent," Steven Lockard said. "He really was my mentor as I progressed from teacher to principal to further along in an administrative role. An honest, candid ear to be able to talk to all the time."

Francisco took a little longer to get the education bug. It wasn't until four years ago, when a human resources position opened up with Washington County Public Schools, that she took the plunge. On Wednesday, at her father's home in Westminster, she was glad that she had.

"That always felt like it was really a connection that was meant to be," Francisco said. "I love the work and I love the mission, and I know he felt the same way. I think he would be proud."