The Frederick County Board of Education has made a very good decision in retaining Superintendent Terry Alban for four more years.
Alban has been a strong and steady presence in the district since she was hired in 2011 from Howard County schools, where she was the chief operating officer. She has also worked for Baltimore County and Montgomery County schools.
Her contract was renewed for four years in 2015, and her new pact will extend through 2023. It was approved unanimously by the school board.
News-Post reporter Wyatt Massey wrote that Alban thanked the board for its continued support and the community’s belief in the school system.
“This board has really come together as a team,” Alban was quoted as saying. “You have energized me. I know you have energized staff. ... It will truly be an honor to continue working with you over the next four years.”
Brad Young, president of the Board of Education, particularly praised Alban for her dedication to the work, and for her outreach to the community, according to our article.
“Dr. Alban, from the beginning, has developed that community support and confidence and trust,” Young was quoted as saying. “I think that shows in the respect and admiration that we have for the school system.”
Alban has been recognized personally for her work by her peers, and she has garnered good reviews for the school system as well. She was named the 2017 Maryland Superintendent of the Year by the Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland.
Last December, Maryland issued report cards for all school systems in the state, and the report showed that Frederick County’s public schools perform very well. Most of the 59 public schools in the county that were rated earned four or five stars, on a scale of one to five, and none earned fewer than three stars.
Academic performance is also strong, with student scores on standardized tests and advanced placement tests consistently above average for the state and the nation.
Her tenure has not been without issues, however, including the thorny problem of disparity in student discipline. Despite the best efforts of the superintendent and the staff, black and Hispanic students continue to face higher suspension rates than white and Asian students. The system is making progress, but it remains a significant problem.
Frederick’s minority and disadvantaged students also lag behind in academics, a problem that no school district to our knowledge has been able to completely solve.
With a diverse student body now numbering more than 42,000, the work of Alban and her staff of 5,800 employees grows more complicated and challenging by the year. But she and they seem up to the task.
A recent survey of more than 1,000 employers found that 99 percent rated county graduates met or exceeded their standards for workplace readiness. That was a very reassuring result.
We have every reason, then, to believe that our county school system is preparing our children well to join the adult world.
We are happy that the school system will remain in the capable hands of Terry Alban for another four years.