Worcester School Board Unanimously Approves New Contract For Taylor

NEWARK – The Worcester County Board of Education voted unanimously to reappoint Superintendent Lou Taylor for another four-year term.

Taylor, who has led Worcester County Public Schools for the last five years, was reappointed for a second four-year term on Tuesday. He was initially appointed interim superintendent in 2016 upon the resignation of Jerry Wilson. Taylor has been with Worcester County Public Schools for 37 years previously serving as principal at Stephen Decatur High School, where he graduated, for 17 years and as a physical education teacher at then-Berlin Middle School previously.

“This is an exciting day for Worcester County Public Schools,” said Eric Cropper, president of the school board.

School board member Todd Ferrante made a motion to reappoint Taylor during Tuesday’s meeting on terms previously negotiated. The motion passed unanimously.

Ferrante praised Taylor’s leadership during a difficult year and said he’d been a great communicator throughout the pandemic.

“He might not always agree with you, but he will sit down and listen,” Ferrante said.

Other board members also expressed appreciation for Taylor.

“His leadership has been and continues to be remarkable,” said school board member Bill Gordy.

Taylor said it had been an honor to serve for the past five years. He acknowledged that there had never been a year as challenging as 2020 but said that knowing he was working on behalf of local students he was able to get through it.

“I think now is one of the most important times in our country’s history for the education of our young people,” he said.

Taylor added that he worked every day to ensure that local kids were shown love and respect in their schools.

“I try to come in each and every day to give the best I can give,” he said.

Taylor thanked board members for their confidence in him and praised their efforts as well as those of county government.

“We’ve taken 50 steps back because of COVID,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do when we come out of this situation.”

He said he’d continue to do his part to ensure Worcester County’s students received a quality education.

“Thank you for this opportunity,” he said. “I’m excited for the future of our school system.”

According to Carrie Sterrs, the school system’s coordinator of public relations and special programs, the terms of Taylor’s new contract are very similar to those of the last one. His new salary, effective July 1, will be $210,000. His current salary, based on his first contract in 2016, is $186,023. As a comparison, Taylor’s salary is slightly below that of Wicomico County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donna Hanlin, who signed a new four-year contract last year for an annual salary of $212,000.

“However, it is important to note that unlike many other superintendent contract negotiations, Mr. Taylor continues to remain committed to keeping any annual salary adjustment in lockstep with our teachers and support staff,” Sterrs said. “This means that in years two, three and four of his contract, he will only receive the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that our teachers and staff receive.”

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.