There were lots of takeaways from this week’s interviews with the two finalists for the Worcester County Superintendent of Schools post. The Board of Education was wrestling with the decision this week and is expected to announce the next chief of public schools within a week or two.
I have been blatant about my choice for months and I stand by it still, despite the fact Michael Martirano’s qualifications exceed Lou Taylor’s on paper.
My hope is the Worcester County Board of Education looks behind the resumes of the finalists and thinks broadly about the choice. Worcester County needs a certain level of continuity at this position and Taylor will bring that. Martirano, while impressive and tremendously qualified, will more than likely fall into that average tenure of superintendent’s on the job — four to eight years.
While I think Taylor, the current chief operating officer of the school system, is the choice, here’s are some highlights of our extensive question-and-answer sessions this week.
First, Taylor did what he had to do. He made it clear he was from Worcester County, has lived here all his life and is invested in the community.
“What makes me the best candidate for the job? No one, and I’m not just talking about the other guy that’s a finalist, no one will have the passion that I have for Worcester County Public Schools. I’m passionate about it because I’ve grown up in it as a kid, I’ve lived it as an adult, I’ve gone through every step of the process as far as becoming a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, a central office executive member and now I’m prepared to take on the next step,” he said. “I bleed Worcester County. It’s part of my fabric, it’s who I am. In my 33-year career, I would say I don’t know of many people that have put in the number of hours, the commitment that I have to this school system. In particular, my years at Stephen Decatur. You remember when I was there. So I think because it’s part of my core, it’s part of my fabric, it’s part of who I am, I don’t think anybody will be as passionate about doing what we need to do for kids moving forward.”
Martirano also did what he had to do. He touted his career accomplishments and even drafted his own visioning document for the school board to review, showing off his executive training skills
“Working with the board, in the two interactions I’ve had with them through this process, I’ve established a vision plan for the county that will have further input from our constituents. A vision plan for Worcester County where students sail to new horizons is how I’m titling this. The ‘Worcester County Public Schools Vision Plan Where Students Sail to New Horizons,’” he said. “Those words are critical. It acknowledges the fact there are good things going on currently but we also have opportunity for improvement by taking this to the next level where students sail to new horizons.”
The amount of overthinking being done at City Hall in Ocean City regarding the proposed plumbing ordinance changes continues to amaze.
Ocean City Councilman Wayne Hartman seemed to express what many have been thinking after weeks of debating exactly how the ordinance should read and whether it should cover all types of housing.
“I don’t know why this has to be so difficult,” he said. “We’re talking about above the floor and outside the wall. I don’t know why we need to confuse this with everything else. If it’s below the floor or behind the wall, this ordinance doesn’t apply and you have to get a plumber and an inspection. If you’re going behind a wall or below the floor, this ordinance doesn’t include that.”
It’s my hope the council is able to simplify this matter and come to an agreement sooner than later. It’s time to put this matter to bed.