First day of work for new Prince George's Co. Schools CEO

6:20 AM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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BLADENSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) -- Classes start Monday for Maryland public school students in Prince George's and Frederick Counties. It's also the first day of work for the new CEO of Prince George's County Schools.

School chief his title but Dr. Kevin Maxwell is a teacher at heart. He was most recently the school superintendent at Anne Arundel County Schools. Dr. Maxwell started out his career as a teacher in Prince George's County.

He told us on Monday, "I love what goes on in schools. I love to get out on all levels of schools. One of my favorite things is to read to elementary schoolchildren. I go to high school theater festivals, athletic events, other kinds of things in schools. It's just really, really great."

Asked about the challenges of moving to the second largest school system in the state, Dr. Maxwell talked about his commitment and passion.

"I live here. I grew up here. I went to school here. I finished at Kentland Elementary School. I graduated from Bladensburg High School. I've been part of this community for a very long time. 

"I believe in these children just like people believed in me when I was in these schools. My teachers taught me to believe in myself. They taught me to strive, to reach, to do my best in school. And, you know, I want to give that back to my community now.

"I started my career, I worked here for 22 and a half years and then I spent six years in Montgomery County and seven in Anne Arundel County. It was time to come back home. It was time to say, you know, I want to stand up for my community. I want to provide for children the same opportunities that were provided for me," shared Maxwell.

Maxwell described some of his initiatives coming in as chief executive, including full day pre-k.

"We have full day prekindergarten at about eight schools serving over 350 children. I think that it's important to understand that to be -- to provide equitable resources to our schoolchildren doesn't necessarily mean they're all equal. There are some places where we have greater need so you have to adjust your response to that it's much like different instruction in a classroom. When somebody is struggling with a concept, you give them a little more time. If I raise my hand and have a question and somebody else doesn't, the teacher isn't going to ignore me because somebody else has the answer. They'll give me time to get that concept down. The same thing is true across schools. You can differentiate the way you deliver instruction in those schools," stated Maxwell.

Maxwell even discussed the collaboration with County Executive Rushern Baker and his transforming neighborhoods initiative, really addressing the child as a whole at home and in the community.

Maxwell told us, "I think it's going to be really great for our system... Instead of having agencies dealing independently with a family, you might have social services interacting, mental health interacting and a number of different agencies, but not talk to each other. Now we're going to talk to each other. The school system, social services, the different agencies are going to talk to each other and try to provide the holistic support for children and their families."

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