Dr. Renee Foose is leaving the Howard County Public School System. In the meantime, Michael J. Martirano, Ed.D. will step in as Acting Superintendent of Schools.
The Board of Education said Dr. Foose's departure was not a surprise, and now they're welcoming a change in leadership.
"It's a very orderly transition, that's what we're shooting for, is an orderly transition," said Cynthia Vaillancourt, chairperson of the board. "In any organization, any company, any big organization, you have a time. And if the community is no longer behind you and if you don't continue to have a shared vision, sometimes the best thing is to part ways."
Some parents are happy about the change.
"Its been a long time coming," Barb Krupiarz said. "I believe there was a lot of misinformation coming from this administration and I'm happy that we have a new superintendent that's acting who promises to be open and collaborative."
Dr. Martirano has a long history in education; he's the former state superintendent for West Virginia. He said he plans to lead with a lens of equity.
"There's a 10-point plan addressed at the national level and how can we establish our strategic plan around a 10-point plan of equity that serves all the children," Dr. Martirano said.
Dr. Foose's most recent contract took effect July 1, 2016, it was a 4 year contract with the school system. In December, when several new board members were elected, she had some issues with the new board. She filed a lawsuit claiming the board was preventing her from doing her job properly.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said he played a part in coming up with a solution.
"The growing discord was not productive and had the potential to negatively impact students, teachers and parents," Kittleman wrote in a statement. "I encouraged a solution outside of the legal system and I'm glad that I was able to play a part in mediating the resolution."
Dr. Foose and the Board of Education issued the following statements:
“I want to express my gratitude to the teachers, administrators and staff of the Howard County Public School System for their incredibly dedicated work during my five years as Superintendent,” Dr. Foose said. “Howard County is the #1 school system in the state of Maryland and one of the top school systems in the country, because of your leadership and commitment. I want to thank the students in the Howard County Public School System and their families for your strong support of our public schools. I also want to thank the public officials in Howard County who supported my tenure as superintendent and supported continued excellence in the Howard County Public School System. I am proud of my service to the Howard County Public School System and have every expectation that the commitment to excellence in our public schools will continue in the future.”
On behalf of the Board of Education, Chairman Cynthia L. Vaillancourt said:
“The Board of Education of Howard County wishes to express its appreciation to Dr. Renee Foose for her commitment and service to the Howard County Public School System. During her tenure, Howard County was consistently ranked the top school system in the state and one of the top systems in the country. We are grateful for her leadership. The Board has appointed Dr. Martirano as Acting Superintendent until the search is completed for a new Superintendent. The Board remains committed to maintaining the tradition of excellence in public education in Howard County.”