The former superintendent of JCPS, Donna Hargens, is the new superintendent for the Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the archdiocese announced Monday.
Jim Sellinger, chancellor of education for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said in a news release that “Hargens is passionate about Catholic education and has a proven record of working collaboratively with teachers through her knowledge of curriculum and instruction to increase student achievement.”
“She is the consummate professional and we are looking forward to her leadership as we prepare our students for college and careers in the 21st century,” Sellinger said.
Hargens resigned from JCPS under pressure in April 2017, amid growing criticism from JCPS board members, teachers and community members.
Last August, Arizona’s Tuscon Unified School District announced Hargens as one of four finalists for its superintendent post. Gabriel Trujillo, who had been the interim superintendent, got the job.
At JCPS, Hargens helped improve reading and math scores and boost the district’s graduation rate, according to the release. When announcing her resignation, the JCPS board touted the same accomplishments before saying that the district must accelerate.
“I am blessed and humbled to serve the families, students and schools of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in the role of Superintendent of Catholic Schools,” Hargens said in the release.
“I am eternally grateful to my parents for their investment in my Catholic education, and look forward to joining Chancellor of Catholic Schools, Jim Sellinger, and the team of dedicated educators to provide the foundation for a strong Catholic education for students to rise above,” she added.
A state management review, published before her resignation from JCPS, criticized the district’s handling of student safety and overall culture. The state began a management audit the week after Hargens’ resignation was announced. Ultimately, the state recommended a takeover of the district.
JCPS and the state are working to decide a date for a hearing over the takeover, interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said last week. It could be in late summer or early fall, Lewis said.