- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2003

Maryland officials released the names yesterday of the three finalists to replace Prince George's County's outgoing public school Chief Executive Officer Iris T. Metts.
The one woman and two men were selected from 25 applicants, said a spokeswoman for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, which conducted the search. The county school board will make the final decision, but no date has been set.
The finalists, who will be introduced to the community next week, are Andre J. Hornsby, supervising superintendent for Executive Leadership Development in the New York City Department of Education; Barbara Moore Pulliam, superintendent of schools in St. Louis Park, Minn., and John J. Keegan Jr., superintendent of schools in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Mr. Hornsby previously served as the superintendent of the Yonkers (N.Y.) public school system and the South Central District of the Houston (Texas) Independent School District. He is also president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators.
Mrs. Pulliam and Mr. Keegan are from school districts much smaller than the one in Prince George's County the 19th-largest in the U.S. with nearly 134,000 students.
Mrs. Pulliam has served as associate superintendent of Rockford public schools in Illinois. Mr. Keegan held administrative jobs in school districts in Salt Lake City and Salem, Ore.
The St. Louis Park system has 4,175 students, and Sioux Falls school district has 19,500 students.
Parents yesterday expressed some concerns about whether Mrs. Pulliam or Mr. Keegan were qualified to manage such a large school district. They also questioned whether the school districts had enough minorities to prepare them to deal with the wide ethnic mix of students in Prince George's County.
More than 77 percent of the students enrolled in the county public schools are black.
"It has to be someone who understands the issues we have," said Howard Tutman, county PTA president.
Mr. Tutman also said he had hoped one finalist would be from a neighboring, high-achieving school district such as Fairfax County or Montgomery County.
Mrs. Metts' contract expires in June. Instead of reapplying for the job, she took a position with an education group in the District.
Her five years on the board were marked by frequent clashes with the county's elected school board, which accused her of proceeding with major plans without informing members.
Parent activist Joan Roache said yesterday it was time for a change and that she was hoping for someone "upfront who puts ideas on the table early."
Mr. Tutman hopes the new chief executive officer will be somebody of "great dedication and motivational skills."
The community will have a chance to meet the three finalists at meetings scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I definitely would like to see a leader with a vision who will understand how to cultivate an atmosphere of collaboration among all stakeholders parents and the administration and who will have the vision to articulate to the larger community and enable them to become part of the vision."

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