The Baltimore County (Md.) school board has voted to appoint Verletta White as its permanent superintendent. She has led the district on an interim basis since last year.
The district says White, 50, whose term officially begins on July 1, will be the first woman to serve as superintendent since the school system was established in the late 1840s.
“I have had the opportunity to observe Verletta White for over five years," says Board Chair Edward Gilliss. "I am confident that stability, that consistency, and that locally rooted leadership are key for this system. I am confident that Verletta White will lead with strength and with passion and with a gentle nature.”
The Baltimore Sun reports that White's selection came in an 8-to-4 vote after fierce debate by a deeply divided school board. While she served as interim superintendent, the school board’s ethics panel determined that White had violated ethics rules twice when she failed to disclose a consulting job on her financial disclosure forms for several years. She also was found to have benefited financially from her “prestige of office.”
Some board members also expressed concern that White was too closely linked to former superintendent Dallas Dance, who pleaded guilty last month to four counts of perjury.
Before becoming interim superintendent, White served as the school system’s chief academic officer for the district, which is the nation’s 25th largest school system.
White is a Baltimore native who attended Woodmoor Elementary and Woodlawn Middle schools before graduating from Woodlawn High School. She began her teaching career in 1992 as an elementary school teacher in Baltimore City.
She joined the county system in 1995 as a teacher and served as a school-based administrator from 1998 – 2006. As a member of the superintendent’s senior and executive staff since 2006, White has held a variety of jobs: executive director of professional development; area assistant superintendent for the Northeast Area; and assistant superintendent for elementary schools.
As chief academic officer from 2013 to 2017, White was responsible for defining and communicating the vision of the school system while directing a division of more than 500 curriculum and student support staff.
She holds a bachelor's degree in education from Towson University, a master's degree in leadership in teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University, and she is a doctoral candidate in urban educational leadership at Morgan State University.
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