Wicomico Superintendent Retires

Wicomico Superintendent Retires
Donna Hanlin

SALISBURY – Community leaders and education officials last week recognized Wicomico County’s outgoing superintendent.

In a Wicomico County Board of Education meeting last week, officials recognized Superintendent Dr. Donna Hanlin for six years of service to Wicomico County Public Schools. Board Chair Gene Malone noted that under Hanlin’s leadership, the school system had increased teacher retention, improved graduation rates and completed several school construction projects, to name a few accomplishments.

“Wicomico County Board of Education recognizes you, Donna Hanlin, for 32 years of service in Wicomico County and congratulates you on your retirement,” he said in a tribute last week. “You are to be commended for your commitment to your chosen career in public education and for the many ways you have touched the lives of so many of our children. As you become immersed in the next phase of your life, we hope flashbacks of your career will provide many pleasurable moments and a deep sense of satisfaction in knowing that you did indeed help shape the future.”

Last fall, Hanlin announced her retirement effective June 30, 2022. While she began her tenure as school superintendent in 2016, Hanlin had spent much of her 44-year education career in Wicomico.

“It has been an incredible career, very fulfilling,” she said. “Thirty-two of my 44 years in education have been spent here, and I will take with me incredible memories as I sail off into the sunset.”

Hanlin noted she owed much of the success under her leadership to school system staff and teachers and parents. She also recognized Chief Finance and Operations Officer Micah Stauffer, who has been appointed the next superintendent.

“I know I’m leaving the school system in great hands with Dr. Stauffer,” she said. “He is an incredible leader.”

Hanlin also recognized community members for their support.

“As I look back on my six years, I am incredibly grateful for the support from day one that you have provided me as superintendent of schools,” she said. “We can’t do this without community, we can’t do this without unity, and that’s what we need to continue doing as we move forward.”

Mike Dunn, president and CEO of the Greater Salisbury Committee, applauded Hanlin for her commitment to the school system. He noted that Hanlin assisted in the creation of the Wicomico County Education Foundation, led Wicomico County Public Schools through the COVID-19 pandemic and helped make the Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center a reality.

“We will miss you,” he said. “We know you aren’t going anywhere, but I think it’s appropriate even under the most challenging times, we have to recognize a homegrown, James M. Bennett graduate for the excellent job you’ve done.”

Late last year, the school board began working with the Maryland Association of Boards of Education to begin the search process for the next Wicomico County Public Schools superintendent. And in May, the names of three finalists were announced – Dr. Frederick Briggs, the school system’s chief academic officer, Dr. Eric Minus, Baltimore County Public Schools’ executive director of secondary schools, and Staffer.

Since that time, candidate biographies and interviews have been posted on the school system’s website, which also featured an online survey to collect community input on the three finalists.

After review and consideration, the school board voted in June to appoint Staffer as the next superintendent for a four-year term.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.