June 13, 2023: Community Letter from the MSD Board of Trustees
Approximately three years ago, we made an official announcement regarding our partnership with Idaltu Counseling and Consulting, an independent consulting firm specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion. This was in line with MSD's commitment to identifying any existing systemic racism and subsequently dismantling it through appropriate measures. We engaged the services of Idaltu to provide guidance and support to the MSD Board of Trustees and the school's interim leadership in resolving inequity wherever it may be found at MSD.
January 9, 2023: MSD Announces 12th Superintendent
December 21, 2022: MSD Superintendent Search Process Update
Superintendent Search Co-Chairs
December 8, 2022: Community Forums
We acknowledge and appreciate the heartfelt concerns from the community regarding the plans to hold the community forums solely on the Frederick campus.
This decision was in no way intended to dismiss or disregard the importance of the Columbia Campus and its community. We very much regret that people are feeling this way. That is something we never want to see occur.
A lot of thought and deliberation went into planning and scheduling all search activities and events. This search was conducted in a very compressed schedule to be ahead of other school searches, which posed some challenges. For example, the community forums and interviews must be completed within one week to meet the winter break deadline.
The compressed schedule is one factor in limiting our ability to host multiple activities. However, the most significant factor in limiting the forums to one campus location is the cost of Audio/Visual (AV) technical support services to provide a quality live-streamed event.
It is critical to live-stream the forums as we want to make the event accessible to all our stakeholders, regardless of their location, schedule, and personal commitment. By live-streaming the event, we are opening up the forum so that more members of the school and larger communities could attend and learn about each candidate in person or via live-stream.
Unfortunately, MSD does not have the ability or capacity to handle the AV/technical demands of the forums internally, so we had to contract with a professional firm to provide technical support to live-stream the event. The cost of these services is significant. If forums were held on each campus, AV technical support would be required for each location, and the cost would be doubled.
The candidates will get their first impression of MSD at the Columbia campus. Planning this was intentional as we are confident that the Columbia campus community will provide a wonderful first impression and a warm welcome, and the candidates will see for themselves the importance of the campus. Each finalist will spend the first half of the school day at the Columbia campus before visiting the Frederick campus.
We will be sure to share with the finalists that MSD had preferred to host forums on each campus. Hence, they shall understand that both campuses are equally important.
At this stage in the process, we cannot make any changes. We hope people will trust and believe that we tried our best under the circumstances and ask for their understanding and grace. We sincerely hope the community will join us at the community forums — either in person or virtually — and meet-and-greets and join us as we look forward to the appointment of a new superintendent to lead MSD.
President, MSD Board of the Trustees
Akilah English and Krista Leitch Walker
Superintendent Search Co-Chairs
December 6, 2022: Superintendent Finalist Community Forums
The school community and the larger community are invited to meet and learn about each candidate during a community forum held on the evenings of December 13 and 14. Each will present their vision of transforming MSD through its strengths. This is also an opportunity for the community to ask questions of each candidate and provide feedback on them to the Board of Trustees through the completion of a survey.
While MSD had hoped to offer community events at both campuses, we regret that we cannot offer an in-person event at the Columbia campus due to technology and scheduling constraints. Therefore, the forums will be held at the Frederick campus only. Seating is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the forum will also be available to view via Zoom webinar. Registration is required to attend either the in-person event or the live-stream.
The community forum will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Ely Auditorium on the Frederick campus. Mr. John A. Serrano will present on Tuesday, December 13, and Ms. Taiyabah Naeem will present on Wednesday, December 14. Please note that the doors open at 6:00 p.m. and close at 6:25 p.m. The forum will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.
A Meet & Greet event with the finalist will be held in the Bjorlee Museum following the community forum from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please note the event will end promptly at 8:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
ASL and Spanish interpreters will be provided at both the community forums and meet-and-greets.
Please complete a registration form for each adult attending or viewing the forum. If you are attending the in-person event as a family, please have one member of your party indicate how many children will also be attending.
November 21, 2022: Superintendent Finalist Announcement
About the Finalists:
October 5, 2022: MSD Announces Formation of Superintendent Search Committee
- Samantha Bechara - Teacher, Columbia
- Heather Beck - Parent, Columbia
- Tade Cross - Teacher Assistant, Columbia
- Christine DiMarco - Teacher, Frederick
- Alicia Balzer Farias - Teacher, Frederick
- Joshua Finkle - Parent, Frederick
- Charity Jackson - Chief Diversity Officer
- Minja Jung-Sanderlin - Teacher, Columbia
- Matthew Lockhart - Maryland School for the Deaf Foundation
- Tony Middleton - Procurement Officer
- Shannon Negussie - Assistant Principal, Columbia
- Sydney Padgett - Overnight RCYCP Staff, Frederick
- Karin Scribner - Alumni
September 13, 2022: Now Accepting Applications for the MSD Superintendent Role!
We invite you to review the newly updated Maryland School for the Deaf School Prospectus and Superintendent Leadership Profile. It includes information for potential applicants for the position including an overview of the school, the leadership characteristics and capabilities of the ideal candidate, and a description of the required qualifications and the job duties.
The Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) Superintendent leadership profile was developed in 2021 with input from nine focus groups representing a diverse makeup of stakeholders from the MSD community, including over 75 participants and over 100 responses to the community survey. The leader profile from 2021 has been updated to reflect the school's current situation and information.
- An individual who is deaf or hard of hearing;
- Bilingual fluency in American Sign Language and written English;
- Master's degree in Deaf Education, Special Education, Educational Administration, Public Administration, or related field or discipline.
- Minimum of three (3) years of experience working directly with Deaf, hard of hearing, and/or special education students.
- Minimum of three (3) years of experience in a management and leadership role within an educational program for Deaf, hard of hearing, and/or special education students.
- Demonstrated commitment to and experience in advancing social justice, equity, and inclusion.
- Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Superintendent I Certification or ability to earn this certification within 3 years of hire date.
- Build on the Strengths of MSD
- Provide Innovative, Inspiring, and Transformational Leadership
- Advance the Discipline and Field of Deaf Education
- Advance MSD's Bilingual Education Philosophy
- Unify Both Campuses and Foster a One-School Culture
- Advance Anti-Racist and Anti-Bias Initiatives
- Invest in Community and Professional Relationships and Partnerships
- Shape and Articulate a New Strategic Vision and Future Direction
August 15, 2022: Nominations for Search Committee
- Two BOT member co-chairs: Akilah English and Krista Leitch Walker
- One administrator/staff from the Orioles Leadership Team (OLT)
- Two teachers from the Frederick campus
- Two teachers from the Columbia campus
- Two staff from the Frederick campus
- Two staff from the Columbia campus
- One parent from the Frederick campus
- One parent from the Columbia campus
- One MSD alumni
- One member from the Maryland School for the Deaf Foundation
August 5, 2022: Superintendent Search Reactivated
Akilah English and Krista Leitch Walker
April 29, 2022: A Note from Idaltu Counseling & Consulting
May 10, 2021: MSD Superintendent Search Suspended
May 7, 2021: Resolution Commending Maryland School for the Deaf Staff
April 28, 2021: Superintendent Search Update
March 2, 2021: Superintendent Search Update
October 8, 2020: Update on the Superintendent Search
August 21, 2020: Statement from Dr. Robert Davila