Former Anne Arundel County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Kevin Maxwell today was named one of four finalists for the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

Dr. Maxwell served as AACPS superintendent from 2006 until July 2013, when he left to become Chief Executive Officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools. He was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year in November, and will find out next month if he is the recipient of the national award.

The other finalists are: Alberto Carvalho of Miami-Dade Public Schools in Miami, Fla.; Terry Grier of the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas; and Michele Taylor of Calhoun City Schools in Calhoun, Ga.

“There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers,” Dr. Maxwell said. “This recognition, as I have said before, is one I share with a great number of people in Anne Arundel County because it is the work that we did together that is reflected in this honor. I truly believe that, through our work, we were able to make positive differences in the lives of children and set up them up for success they may not otherwise have enjoyed.”

Dr. Maxwell was recognized not only for his efforts to increase student achievement and school system partnerships, but to expand access to and enrollment in more rigorous coursework. From 2006 to 2013, total enrollment in Advanced Placement courses rose by 36 percent, and the number of students taking AP exams taken increased by 76 percent, with more than 14,200 exams administered in the 2012-2013 school year.

The increases were even more dramatic for African-American and Hispanic students. For African-American students, AP enrollment increased 73 percent and the number of AP exams taken rose by 152 percent. For Hispanic students, enrollment in AP courses nearly tripled and the number of exams taken nearly quadrupled over the same time period.

Dr. Maxwell also oversaw enhancement of the school system’s programs of choice. When he arrived, AACPS had two magnet programs in four schools across the county. Today, the district has eight programs in 16 schools at both the middle and high school levels.

Scholarship offers to graduating seniors also rose markedly during Dr. Maxwell’s tenure. In 2006, graduating seniors were offered $42.8 million in scholarships. Last year’s seniors were offered $127.5 million, nearly a 300 percent increase.

“This is great news because it recognizes the work that Dr. Maxwell led on behalf of our students and shines a national spotlight on the accomplishments of our school system and its nearly 79,000 students and 10,000 employees,” Board of Education President Teresa Milio Birge said. “Our Board and our entire school system join in congratulating Dr. Maxwell on this recognition.”