New superintendent tells students, I wont let you down, I promise

By Lynn R. Parks

The Seaford School District has chosen its next superintendent. Dr. Shawn Joseph, currently director of school performance in Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools, will take over the reins Feb. 1.

Joseph was introduced to the public at a special board meeting Wednesday morning. He said that he felt encouraged to take the job after talking with people he met during his six visits to the Seaford area. Everywhere Ive gone, Ive heard from the people that they want excellence, he said.

And speaking directly to the high school students who were in the board room, he said, I wont let you down. I promise. Board president Suzanne Farris said that the board selected Joseph after a nationwide search that began Aug. 1. He was one of three finalists who came to Seaford for interviews with the board as well as with several focus groups.

Following those interviews, members of the board visited Montgomery County. Over 60 people came out to meet the board and were overwhelming in their praise for Dr. Joseph, Farris said. Colleagues, parents, students, board members and local leaders used words such as, visionary, dynamic, student-driven, collaborator and team builder to describe him.

Joseph has a bachelor of science degree from Lincoln University, near Oxford, Pa., and a masters degree in education from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He also has a doctorate in education from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., where he is an adjunct professor.

He has written numerous peer-reviewed articles focusing on principal development, school improvement planning and school/community relationships. His book, The Principals Guide to the First 100 Days of the School Year: Creating Instructional Momentum, is set to be released on Dec. 15.

Josephs wife, Ocheze, is an assistant principal in the Montgomery County Public Schools. They have two children, a kindergartener and a fourth-grader.

At the Wednesday-morning meeting, Joseph said that his selection by the board was a fantastic honor. He also had words of praise for Dr. Russell Knorr, Seafords superintendent for 28 years.

Districts across the country are successful when they have steady leadership, he said. Youve had that with Dr. Knorr.

News tips wanted
Call us with ideas for news and features. We're always looking for good stories to share with readers. Call Bryant Richardson at 629-9788.