County School Board Thanks Departing State Official

NEWARK – School system officials expressed their gratitude for years of support from the director of the state’s Interagency Committee on School Construction as his tenure ends.

At last week’s meeting, the Worcester County Board of Education issued a proclamation in honor of David Lever, executive director of the Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC). In May, Lever announced that he would resign Sept. 1 following a funding decision by the state’s Board of Public Works.

Worcester County’s education officials said Lever’s work during the past 13 years had been much appreciated.

“Dr. Lever oversaw several Worcester County Public School projects,” said Jerry Wilson, the county’s superintendent of schools. “With that we would like to recognize him today with this proclamation. Dr. Lever has been a good friend to Worcester County Public Schools.”

Wilson said that while the legacy of public schools began with teachers and students, educational buildings themselves created important memories for people.

Joe Price, the school system’s facilities planner, said Lever would be missed.

“As the board knows, no school construction project gets off the ground unless there’s planning and funding approval from the IAC and Board of Public Works,” he said. “For the last 13 years Dr. Lever has been an invaluable asset.”

Price said that Lever had helped the county secure more than $30 million in state construction funding. That funding helped with projects such as the construction of a new Ocean City Elementary School, the construction of Worcester Technical High School and with the extensive renovations of Pocomoke and Snow Hill high schools.

“Dr. Lever’s steady leadership and unwavering support to me personally is going to be very, very missed,” Price said.

Lever issued his resignation in May following a decision by the Board of Public Works to withhold millions of dollars in construction funding from Baltimore and Baltimore County unless school systems there installed air conditioning in all classrooms by the fall.

In his letter of resignation, Lever said his agency made a habit of giving local school systems the authority to formulate their own capital programs. He said they were best suited to determine their needs.

“The Board of Public Works meeting of May 11, 2016 called both the principle of deferral to local boards and the professional judgement of the IAC into question,” he wrote.

He went on to say that his 13 years as head of the IAC had been gratifying.

“It has brought me into contact with an exceptional group of individuals, the dedicated men and women who support the facility management activities of the school systems of Maryland …,” he wrote. “I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve as executive director and will remain continually interested in how the program proceeds under its future leadership.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.