Stakeholder survey for superintendent search is available online

ROCK HALL — As the first step in the search for a successor to Superintendent Karen Couch, who will retire at the end of June, a stakeholder input survey for staff, students, families and the general public has been developed.

The survey will remain open on the Kent County Public Schools website — — through Sunday, Feb. 25. 

The purpose of the survey is to determine the strengths of the school system and Kent County as a whole, the characteristics the public believes a superintendent should possess and what challenges a new superintendent may face.

Once the survey information is reviewed, the Kent County Board of Education will work with contracted consultants from the Maryland Association of Boards of Education to develop advertising, candidate criteria and characteristics and interview questions, and to set a timeline for application review and subsequent interviews.

The board intends to again seek stakeholder input as the process proceeds and to make a final decision on a new superintendent by the end of May.

For more information on the superintendent search process, visit

Any questions regarding the survey or search process should be directed to William Middleton, search consultant at MABE (, or Joseph Goetz, president of the Kent County Board of Education (

At a special meeting on Jan. 23, the Kent County Board of Education approved a contract with MABE for the purpose of conducting a search for the next schools chief. The fee is $20,000, according to minutes from the meeting.

The school board met in open session with Middleton for an hour at its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, Feb. 12. By unanimous vote, the board approved a search timeline as recommended by the consultant and the superintendent stakeholder survey.

Couch’s retirement was among personnel actions that the board approved in open session on the consent agenda of the regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 8.

During the preceding closed session when personnel were discussed, Couch presented the board with a two-page written letter of retirement.

Couch publicly announced her retirement during her superintendent’s report, reading from a prepared script.

Trish McGee,  owner and publisher of The Evening Enterprise, is an elected member of the Kent County Board of Education. She contributed to his reporting.

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