SNOW HILL — A couple months after the announcement that Worcester County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon Andes would be retiring at the end of the school year, Assistant Superintendent for Administration Ed Barber has revealed recently that he will also be leaving his position in June.
Barber’s announcement coincides with word that Worcester Technical High School Principal Jane Pruitt will be giving up her post.
Despite his decision to retire becoming public knowledge only weeks after Andes’ announcement, Barber stressed that the two are in no way related.
“It’s something that’s been in the plans for a while,” he said.
Barber has 36 years’ experience in education, starting as a school psychologist in Somerset County and relocating to Worcester as an assistant superintendent in 1995.
“It’s been a great experience … I’ve had a lot of great opportunities,” he said.
With so much time spent serving the county, Barber has undoubtedly earned his retirement. However, along with Andes’ retirement and Pruitt leaving for a position with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools on Dec. 30, the Board of Education will be facing what is unanimously considered a tough budget season next year with rookies in key positions.
However, Barber is confident that the school board will find the best qualified replacements for himself, Pruitt and Andes. A national search to fill Andes’ position is already under way. It should also be noted that both Barber and Andes will still be involved in this spring’s budget, where important projects like the renovation of Snow Hill High School are up for review.
On a more positive note, Barber said that during his time with Worcester there have been too many high points to pick one as his favorite.
Among those that made his list were the completion of five school renovations as well as watching Andes come aboard as superintendent, not to mention Worcester consistently ranking at the top of the Maryland State Assessment for the last several years.
“I’ve been here just to watch technology [in schools] grow and expand,” he said.
According to Barber, he’s leaving his position with “no regrets” and nothing but pride for his tenure.
Barber hasn’t made any concrete plans yet and said the first thing he’ll do is take time off. After that, Barber said, “We’ve all got that bucket list.”