Prince George’s Co. aims to have next school leader in place when CEO’s contract ends

Within hours of the announcement that the Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO would be retiring at the end of the school year, there was already talk about a search for the Maryland school district’s next chief starting this month.

On Thursday afternoon, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks issued a statement, ending with a pledge to “begin the selection and appointment process for a new CEO, following the process mandated by State law.”

As the county executive, Alsobrooks appointed Monica Goldson to the role in 2019. In her statement, she thanked Goldson for her 32 years of service, and wrote that it would be her goal to have a new CEO in place when Goldson’s contract ends on the last day of June.

In her retirement announcement video released earlier Thursday morning, Goldson did not provide a reason for her retirement. She said that there’s a “a clear divide of philosophical beliefs” with the Prince George’s County Board of Education, and added that “the current acrimony is not about one Board Chair.”

Board member David Murray was asked why a CEO candidate might want to walk into a school system where the school board has been riven by division among its members — some of whom are elected, while others are appointed.

“Educators are interested in getting into a job like this for the purpose of helping kids,” Murray said. “I think it’s really a district that has a lot of room for growth and opportunity, and I think that there’s a lot of leaders around the country who would be willing to take on the role.”

Murray also said that in two years, the board will shift from its current hybrid structure, where some members are appointed and others are elected, to an all-elected board.

“I think that kind of, more traditional structure that we see in other districts around the country will be a positive thing as well,” Murray said.

Donna Christy, the president of the Prince George’s County Education Association, told WTOP that the current board structure could be a draw for a future CEO candidate.

Christy explained that under the current structure, eight votes are required to overrule the CEO’s agenda.

“The more division there is” on the board, “it actually benefits the CEO. Because as long as they can’t get the votes together to override a decision of the CEO, then the CEO has kind of unchecked decision-making authority,” Christy said.

Christy said that while the teacher’s group has had its differences with Goldson, they did win a record pay raise under her leadership.

“She doesn’t give in easily, for sure,” Christy said. “But in the end, she generally does the right thing.”

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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