Longtime Howard Co. educator remembered for ‘quiet yet assured nature’

WASHINGTON — Less than a year after his 2003 retirement from Howard County Public Schools, longtime educator and administrator Sydney Cousin, whose death was announced Friday, was persuaded by the school board to return as its superintendent.

“I’m glad to be back,” he was quoted saying in a 2004 Washington Post article. “This is my home, first of all.”

The county said that Cousin died after a long illness. The Baltimore native served as superintendent until he retired again in 2012. He is remembered by colleagues as someone with a deep compassion and steady demeanor.

His even-keeled personality and “quiet yet assured nature” was a stabilizing force for countless staff students and parents, a statement from current Superintendent Michael Martirano said.

“Dr. Cousin firmly believed that “every child can learn,” and he embodied inclusiveness and kindness to all,” Martirano said.

“He immediately reached out to me upon my return to Howard County, and I will forever be grateful for his advice and support during those early days.”

Cousin moved to Howard County in the 1970s and lived in Baltimore between the late 1970s until returning to Howard in the 1990s, The Washington Post said. His children attended Oakland Mills High School.

Martirano previously worked in Maryland as superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools, and also was the director of elementary education for the Howard County system. He came back to Howard County after a stint as West Virginia’s schools superintendent.

Martirano said that Cousin will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and many friends,” he said.

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