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CITING NEED TO FOCUS ON WORK AT HAND, INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT MAMIE J. PERKINS NOT SEEKING PERMANENT POST

Interim Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins today announced that she is not among the candidates whose applications the Board of Education is now reviewing as it seeks to find the next Anne Arundel County Public Schools superintendent.

Perkins said she gave considerable thought to becoming a candidate before the application period closed on February 17, 2014, but decided simply to fulfill the terms of the 11-month contract she signed with the Board in late July. That contract ends on June 30.

“When the Board of Education hired me last summer, I made it clear that I would do the very best I could in leading the transition between the previous superintendent and the next leader of this school system,” Perkins said. “While the opportunity for me to apply certainly existed, in the end I decided the best course was to do what I had originally said I was going to do. That decision will allow me to focus solely on the crucial work we have at hand, such as the continued implementation of Common Core, and do everything I can over the next four-plus months to support and enhance opportunities for our children.”

Perkins spent more than 26 years in Howard County and 13 years in Baltimore City schools before retiring in 2012. She began her term with Anne Arundel County Public Schools on August 1, succeeding Kevin Maxwell, who left to become Chief Executive Officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools.

“There are passionate and dedicated people across this school system who are working day and night to help our children in every way they possibly can,” Perkins said. “I have wanted since I arrived – and I continue to want – to simply help in furthering that work. The fact that I am not a candidate will allow the Board to focus on the difficult task of choosing its next superintendent and allow me to continue to do the work we have in front of us right now.”

Perkins said she did not make her decision known publicly last week because she wanted to afford the Board the opportunity to see the names of those candidates who did apply. Fifty-five people submitted applications to become the next superintendent of Maryland’s fifth largest school system. The Board is currently reviewing those applications and plans to appoint a new superintendent on April 23. By law, that person will begin his or her duties on July 1.

“Mamie Perkins has been the right person at the right time for our school system, and has been every bit the committed and passionate leader we believed we were hiring when she arrived last summer,” Board President Teresa Milio Birge said. “Our Board fully respects her decision not to submit her name for future consideration. We thank her for the work she has done thus far, look forward to continuing our work with her through June, and wish her nothing but the best going forward.”

Perkins began her educational career as a classroom teacher in Baltimore City in 1973. She worked there until 1986, also serving as a resource teacher for foreign-born students, a summer school principal, a supervisory teacher for student teachers, and a reading resource teacher for adult learners. She moved to Howard County in 1986, where she worked as a teacher for gifted and talented programs, coordinator of elementary and health education, and supervisor of health education. She oversaw the system’s Human Resources department from 1999 to 2005, and was chief of staff from 2005 to 2011, when she became deputy superintendent. She was acting superintendent of the school system from June 2011 to July 2012, and retired in August 2012.