PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – At a March 24 meeting, the Calvert County Board of Education approved Dr. Andrae Townsel as the next superintendent of the county’s school system, taking over on July 1, 2022.
Townsel will serve a four-year term, contingent on the approval of the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools.
The motion to approve Townsel was made by board member Inez Claggett and seconded by Antoine White. The motion was carried by a 4-0 vote, with board member Patrick “Pat” Nutter abstaining from a vote.
Nutter would explain that due to an injury that he recently suffered, he felt he hadn’t had adequate opportunity to meet with and review the candidates in the process.
“The world doesn’t stop because I have an injury,” Nutter said explaining why he abstained. “I’m not opposing anything, but I’m going to abstain from this vote because I’d feel better if I could have met in person with this candidate.” He would go on to say that he expects to also abstain from when the board issues the contract to Townsel.
Ray and Associates led the search efforts earlier this year to find a candidate to replace Dr. Daniel Curry as the school’s current superintendent.
Townsel is coming from Benton Harbor Area Schools in Michigan, where he was the superintendent overseeing approximately 1,600 students from six schools.
The Calvert County NAACP also offered congratulations to Townsel, as he will now become the first African-American to hold the position as superintendent of CCPS.
A biography of Townsel was released earlier this month in a press release from CCPS including the following information on him:
“Dr. Andrae Townsel earned a football scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC. During his time at Howard, he earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate all from Howard University and began his educational career in the District of Columbia.
He had the privilege to work at every level of the educational system and excelled. He served as a student teacher, teacher, head coach (football and basketball), athletic director, dean of students, central office specialist, assistant principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent, and a current highly effective superintendent.
As the superintendent of Benton Harbor Area Schools, he successfully eliminated the budget deficit after 14 years of being in the red, increased the salary of all teachers after having their salaries frozen for over 10 years, and successfully developed a 5-year district Strategic Plan. The United Way of Southwest Michigan has highlighted him and his district as the Education Innovator of the Year in 2021.
He was nominated as the 2021 Superintendent of the Year in Michigan. He successfully navigated the pandemic, whereas the board of education gave a vote of confidence.
His district was awarded $3 million over the next 5 years to focus on and improve literacy. They were 1 out of 5 districts to receive this award through a competitive grant application process.
As an assistant superintendent in the Wayne-Westland Community School District, Dr. Townsel pioneered the work of climate, culture, and social-emotional learning. In a district of nearly 11,000 students and 20 school buildings, he hired and developed climate and culture coaches for each building and provided yearlong professional development to effectively address the disproportionality in discipline data as well as improve the overall behavior of students district-wide to ensure an increase in academic achievement.
He has a strong knowledge of school finance and showed great fiscal responsibility at all levels. He generated nearly $250k in grant funding to support the work of restorative practices and social-emotional learning (SEL).”
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