Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mike Makes Good

Looks like the folks in St. Mary's are pretty happy with their new schools superintendent, former Howard County assistant superintendent Michael Martirano. Test scores there are up and within a few points of this county's, and St. Mary's is set to open a science and engineering academy and Southern Maryland's first charter school. Here's a passage from a WaPo profile:

"So how did an ambitious 48-year-old educator end up in an area known for being far away and self-contained?

More than a few eyebrows were raised two years ago when Martirano announced he would leave his position as the director of school administration in Howard to become St. Mary's superintendent, but the Frostburg native said he is convinced his new district will soon be seen as a destination.

'We're a good school system on the precipice of being a great one,' Martirano says frequently.

From some, it might seem boastful, but supporters -- and there are legions of them -- say the first superintendent to come from outside St. Mary's in many years has the right combination of big-city experience and small-town charm to get the job done.

Parents love his easy interaction with their children and his commitment to improving test scores. Teachers compliment his nurturing attention that they say never feels stifling. Board of Education members say his lofty goals are infectious. Former superintendent Patricia M. Richardson retired a popular figure, but she never generated anywhere near Martirano's buzz."

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