SNOW HILL — Dr. John Gaddis’ last meeting with the Worcester County Board of Education was this week, as he is leaving his current position of assistant superintendent for instruction at Worcester to serve as interim superintendent of schools in Somerset County.
Gaddis has worked in education for 24 years, 22 of which have been with Worcester.
“It’s been an absolute honor starting out as a second grade teacher at Buckingham and then coming up through the ranks,” said Gaddis Tuesday.
During his two-plus decades, Gaddis has held a variety of positions, from teacher, vice principal and principal to coordinator of technology to his current assistant superintendent for instruction position.
“There are a lot of great memories and all of that has led to where I am today,” said Gaddis.
When asked about the highpoints in his career, Gaddis said teaching will always have a special meaning for him.
“You always have those few who remember you and you realize that you made a difference with those kids,” he said.
From a professional standpoint, Gaddis added that the recent changes to national curriculum with things like the implementation of Common Core and the new teacher’s assessments have been a challenge and something that he regrets not having more time to focus on in Worcester before his departure.
“I was heavily involved in the creation of our new teacher evaluation system here in Worcester County. I’ll still be involved in the PARCC assessments from a different perspective as superintendent but I think just the whole transition, we’ve worked so hard the last three years to transition to Common Core and PARCC and now to have to leave, it’s been a lot. There are challenges but in every challenge comes an opportunity,” he said.
Gaddis will begin his new position in Somerset starting July 1. Being appointed the interim superintendent is something that Gaddis has worked towards for years. Gaddis was in the running for the Worcester County Superintendent of Schools after Dr. Jon Andes retired last summer, but was passed over in favor of Dr. Jerry Wilson for the job.
Gaining the position in Somerset has extra meaning, he said, because that was where his parents first started in the field of education.
“It’s a lifelong professional and personal goal. One of the things that is kind of neat for me is when I was introduced in Somerset County,” Gaddis said. “Well, 63 years ago my father and mother started their careers in Somerset County as teachers. So I’m kind of completing a circle but starting my own journey.”
As excited as he is for his new job helming education in Somerset, Gaddis said that he will always be grateful for the opportunities he’s had in Worcester where his main effort was to continue the legacy of former Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Richard Walker.
“My goal was to continue the success of Dr. Walker and I think we’ve been able to do that,” he said. “And now we need to continue to rise through standards and all of the issues that seem to be arising around Common Core, we’re focused and moving forward.”
As for Gaddis’ successor, Board of Education Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs Barb Witherow confirmed the board will be posting a notice soon seeking applicants to fill the post.
“A vacancy notice and corresponding job description will be posted in the near future, within the next two weeks, establishing an application window for qualified candidates to apply,” she said.