The Board of Education today unanimously approved the appointment of Anthony Alston as new Executive Director of the school system’s Office of Equity and Accelerated Student Achievement.

Interim Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins announced on May 28 that she was restructuring and reorganizing the former Office of Equity and Human Relations to better address the needs of the school system and provide a new focus on efforts to eliminate achievement and discipline gaps. The realignment will be part of a system-wide reorganization Mrs. Perkins will formally present to the Board of Education on June 18, 2014.

“There is no question in my mind that Anthony Alston is the right person to provide the necessary energy and vision to lead the effort to hasten the pace at which Anne Arundel County Public Schools is closing achievement and discipline gaps,” Interim Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins said. “His experience as a special educator and principal, as a mentor, and as someone who works every day with instructional data will be crucial as we chart a new course. Most importantly, I am confident he will continue to build the partnerships both inside and outside of our school system that are so critical to accomplishing this work.”

Alston, who is currently the Senior Manager of Research in the school system’s Instructional Data Division, has worked for Anne Arundel County Public Schools since 1996. He was a special education teacher at Van Bokkelen and Quarterfield elementary schools, a teacher specialist for discipline at Hilltop Elementary School, and an assistant principal at Hilltop and Georgetown East elementary schools before being named principal at Woodside Elementary School in 2008. He served in that capacity until moving to his current assignment in 2012.

“I am humbled by the trust and confidence the Board and Mrs. Perkins have shown in me, and I believe my experiences have prepared me well for this task. This is not something I take lightly. This is very personal. I have two sons in elementary school in our county. I want for them what I want for every child: equitable opportunities to grow their talents, realize their potential, and excel in whatever field they choose in the years to come. I believe we can continue to build on the work that has been done to date, strengthen our existing efforts, and create new pathways that will help all of our children.”

As part of the reorganization, the office will report to the Deputy Superintendent of Schools, who also oversees the Office of School Performance and works closely with the Office of Student Support Services. Alston will take part in the interview process for all other positions in the Office of Equity and Accelerated Student Achievement.

Alston will also co-chair the Blue Ribbon Commission on Equity and Achievement being created by Mrs. Perkins to examine issues related to achievement and discipline gaps and to make recommendations to narrow disparities that exist in the school system. Those appointments are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Alston’s appointment is effective June 11.