Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Northern High School principal to head school administration

Kimberly Hill, Charles County Public Schools next Superintendent, announced her first administrative appointment today, naming Northern High School Principal Sylvia Lawson, Ph.D., as assistant superintendent of school administration. Additionally, Hill said Keith Hettel, assistant superintendent of human resources, is moving to the position of assistant superintendent for supporting services.

Later this month, Hill plans to announce other changes to the administrative team, which she is reorganizing under four assistant superintendents. Assistant superintendent positions include instruction, school administration, supporting services and finance, with different departments placed under the appropriate leadership, Hill said. A number of top-level positions are open due to the retirements of key leaders.

The Board of Education approved the appointment of Lawson, Calvert County's 2011-12 Principal of the Year and a former Charles County Public Schools principal. Lawson served as a principal, vice principal and teacher in Charles County before moving to Calvert County Public Schools in 2007.

"I am thrilled to have Dr. Lawson as a member of our leadership team. She is an enthusiastic, student-centered leader who will have an immediate and positive impact on our school district. Her responsibilities will include working with our principals and vice principals as they carry out the vital day-to-day work of leading our schools. I am confident that under her guidance our school leaders will thrive and our students will reach even higher levels of achievement," Hill said.

Lawson started her career in education in 1981 as a health and physical education teacher at McColl High School in South Carolina before relocating to Charles County as a health and physical education teacher at Maurice J. McDonough High School, where she also served as a head women's basketball and softball coach.

Lawson's experience includes serving 11 years as a middle school principal, at Southern Middle School in Calvert County and Benjamin Stoddert Middle School in Charles County. She also worked as a vice principal from 1993 to 2000 at John Hanson Middle School, McDonough and Thomas Stone High School.

Lawson has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Additionally, she earned a certificate of advanced studies in education from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a Master of Administration from Western Maryland College, a Master of Education from East Carolina University in North Carolina and a Bachelor of Science from Pfeiffer College in North Carolina.

Hill replaces James E. Richmond, who is retiring at the end of June after 17 years of service as superintendent. Lawson and Hettel begin their new positions on July 1, and Paul Balides, assistant superintendent of finance, remains in his current position. Connie Armstead, executive director of human resources, will manage human resources, which moves under the direction of the assistant superintendent of finance. The school system is advertising for an assistant superintendent of instruction.

Hill said the organizational structure is strategically designed to optimize the efficiency of operations and to fully engage the talents of central office personnel. "Aligning human resources with the finance department provides for an effective exchange of information between human resources, budget and finance and payroll. As the executive director of human resources, Connie Armstead's experience has given her the background and skills needed to lead this department. Keith Hettel's new role as assistant superintendent for supporting services will leverage his ability to build relationships and will serve us well as we continue to maintain and update our facilities. I appreciate the support and expertise that all of our executive staff members have provided to ensure a smooth transition," Hill said. Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

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