Deasy Tapped for Top East Coast Post
By Lookout Staff
February 16 -- School Superintendent Dr. John E. Deasy was tapped Wednesday night by the Prince George's County School Board to head the troubled inner-city school district near Washington D.C.
The board made "a bold decision" by picking Deasy, who impressed
Prince George's officials as an educator with "a young, energetic,
creative mind," a top source with first-hand knowledge told the Washington
Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick was notified of the decision late Wednesday, according to published reports.
Before taking a formal vote to hire Deasy, the board will investigate him further and enter into contract negotiations.
Deasy will permanently replace Andre J. Hornsby, who resigned amid an ethics controversy in May.
Rumors that Deasy was a finalist for the post had been circulating for more than one week.
Deasy will go from the predominantly white 14,000-student district in upscale Santa Monica and Malibu to a poor, predominantly black 133,000-student district rocked by controversy.
Deasy is expected to restore credibility to a school district that has seen the abolition of its “dysfunctional” school board by the state and been the focus of an FBI investigation into financial malfeasance.
Viewed as an agent of change, Deasy quickly put his stamp on the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District he has headed for five years.
Soon after taking over in July 2001, he convened a team of civic leaders to craft a strategic plan to run the district based on a corporate model, pushed for policies to increase standards and split the district’s largest high school into half a dozen campuses.
Deasy, 43, also spurred heated debate with a contentious gift policy, his controversial support for charter schools and the removal of Olympic High School’s principal after a headline-grabbing public confrontation.
Prince George’s is offering its new chief $250,000, a jump of nearly $100,000 from Deasy’s current base salary of $154,351 as reported in the California 2003-2004 school accountability report card.
Deasy would be first non-black to head the Prince George's County School
District in more than a decade.
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