By Mark F. Gray, Staff Writer,

The process of finding a new Chief Executive Officer who can rebuild the credibility the Prince George’s County Public School System starts in earnest next week with public hearings that begin May 13.  

According to a spokesman for County Executive Angela M. Alsobrooks, a three-person search committee and representatives from the company conducting the national search for Prince George’s County Public Schools, will be at the Monday, May 13 hearing that begins at 6:30 p.m. at Charles H. Flowers High School. The task will be to find a fulltime replacement for Kevin Maxwell, who was forced to resign following a controversial tenure while leading the second largest school system in the state with an $800,000 severance package.

According to a recent audit, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) did not properly follow the procedures to comply with spending. (Courtesy Photo)

Monica Goldson was appointed interim CEO after last July to replace Maxwell and could still be considered a candidate for the full time job.  She assumed the role of leading a system that includes 207 schools and centers and more than 132,000 students just over a month before the 2018-2019 school year began

There will be three steps in the process to select the school system’s next CEO.  County leaders will listen to the public’s input on what they expect from the school’s next CEO during the Monday forum. Those residents will be given a chance to speak at the hearing, but must register in order to have their concerns raised publicly during the two-hour session.

After evaluating the input from the residents, the search company will narrow the list down to it’s three top candidates. Those names will be given to County Executive Alsobrooks, who will make the final decision who will be hired.  

Whomever is hired for the job will face the task of trying to deal with the residue from Maxwell’s era, which was marred by controversy and scandal.  Under his watch, the school system dealt with a series of embarrassing issues that reached from the classroom to upper levels of the school system’s administration.

In 2017 a teacher’s aide plead guilty to sexually abusing students at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School. Deonte Carraway was able to sexually abuse 23 children in less than two years despite 10 school staff members expressing concerns about his behavior.  A lawsuit claimed the school was an “unchecked breeding ground for sexual abuse through a lack of supervision, and a failure to intervene and report suspicions of abuse.” Carraway is now serving a 75 year prison sentence.

The system’s academic integrity was brought into question in 2018 when an independent audit evaluated 1,212 student records that were randomly selected from about 5,500 high school seniors who graduated after having grades changed in 2016 or 2017.  It found that nearly one out of four students may have graduated without meeting requirements.

Under Maxwell’s watch two members of his cabinet were given salary increases of between $46,409 in 2013 and 2017 and a third received a $35,758 increase between 2015 and 2017.  This took place while teachers were denied a cost of living increase of four percent.

The county also lost a $6.5 million in federal grants for the Head Start program following documented complaints of mistreatment of children. A text photo of a child who had wet his pants then was forced to mop the floor was texted to his mother. The caption read “LOL, he worked that mop, tho!”

The public doesn’t need to register ahead of time to attend the forum. Anyone who wants to comment at the meeting needs to call the school system at (301) 952-4547 to register to make their presentation.