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D.C. Educator Chosen as Interim Head of Prince George's County Schools

Gale Horton Gay | , WI Staff Writer | 8/22/2012, 12:23 p.m.

The Prince George's County Board of Education has selected a veteran educator from the District of Columbia to run the school system for the next year until a permanent superintendant is hired.

Alvin Crawley, deputy chief of programming in the District of Columbia Public Schools Office of Special Education, will serve as interim superintendent beginning September 4.

Crawley, who has been an educator for 32 years, held senior-level administrative positions in Arlington, Chicago and Boston public schools.

"Dr. Crawley will help to provide stability for our staff, students and families as we search for our next Superintendent of Schools," said Verjeana M. Jacobs, chair of the Prince George's County Public Schools Board of Education. "We are confident that his leadership, experience with business operations and policy development, and commitment to narrowing the achievement gap will serve the Prince George's County Public Schools [PGCPS] community exceptionally well."

Crawley joins PGCPS four weeks before the official departure of Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., who resigned to lead the public school system in Philadelphia.

"I am excited to lead Prince George's County Public Schools at this critical time," said Crawley. "The school system has made significant academic strides in recent years and I look forward to helping students and teachers continue on that path. I will work with the Board of Education over the next few weeks to address immediate challenges and enhance successful programs and services."

Crawley is a co-author of Gaining on the Gap: Changing Hearts, Minds and Practice, which details efforts by parents and staff in Arlington Public Schools to eliminate the achievement gap between low-income students, students of color and their peers.

He received his bachelor's degree in communication disorders/education from Hampton University, master's degree in speech and language pathology from Northeastern University, and doctorate in education with a focus on instructional leadership and administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Crawley is expected to assist PGCPS officials in assessing the school system's five priority areas: high student achievement, highly-effective teaching, safe and supportive schools, strong community partnerships and effective and efficient operations.

Crawley, who will work with Hite, also will be assisted by two PGCPS veterans Duane Arbogast and Monica Goldson. The board appointed Arbogast acting deputy superintendent and Goldson acting chief operating officer. Arbogast previously served as the school system's chief academic officer. Goldson supervised 22 high schools and 140 administrators in her previous role as assistant superintendent of the High School Consortium.

"I am very pleased that the board has selected me to serve the school system in this wonderful new capacity," said Arbogast. "I will use my strength in academic affairs to keep our schools on the path of high achievement."

The Board of Education is holding countywide forums about the superintendent search process and has invited parents, principals and community members to attend. Two forums have been held in Capitol Heights and Bowie. The final "Moving Forward Forum" is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on August 30 at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville.

"Now that we have completed the first steps of this search process, my colleagues on the board and I look forward to discussing the next steps with the community," said Jacobs.