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The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

Husk appointed as interim PPS superintendent

Thisbe Delamarter
The school board listens to public testimony. Husk is pictured second from the left. She has come into the superintendent position during a time with a lot of community concern over district actions.

On March 21, Dr. Sandy Husk, interim superintendent of PPS, attended a press conference with student journalists to discuss her new position in the district. 

Husk was appointed as the PPS interim superintendent after Guadalupe Guerrero’s departure from the position on Feb. 16. Guerrero had served as superintendent since 2017. Husk will serve as superintendent until July 1, when someone will be selected to take the role for the next full term.

The school board has already begun taking steps to find someone to permanently fill the superintendent position by collecting community feedback on what “personal and professional qualities, attributes, skills, and experiences” the future leader should have. They intend to finalize their criteria by the time of the Apr. 9 board meeting, where people will be free to provide any final public comments.

Husk began her career as a teacher in Georgia. She next worked as an educator at the elementary and middle school levels in Colorado before becoming a superintendent in the state. Husk moved on to take a superintendent position in Tennessee and then in Salem, Ore. from 2006 to 2014. After that, she became the CEO of AVID and moved to San Diego, Calif., and was most recently asked to be the interim superintendent for PPS.

As interim superintendent, Husk has less time and power than a regular superintendent to enact significant change in PPS. Still, she intends to make the upcoming transition to the new superintendent as easy as possible.

“When you’re an interim, you’re not a substitute, but you’re accepting what the last person did and preparing for a smooth handoff to the next person,” Husk said. “One of the things I want to do is to make sure that we get this budget finalized, we get graduations successfully celebrated.”

Husk believes that one priority for the district is rebuilding trust, particularly in the wake of events such as the pandemic, the November teacher’s union strike and the ice storm in January. 

She described PPS as a district with a lot of passionate people who truly care about education. 

“I think it’s a community, not just a district, that really cares about education,” Husk said. “Sometimes you can feel like everybody’s angry, but I like to interpret that they’re passionate and really care deeply about what they’re speaking up about.”

Husk has certainly come into PPS during a tense period. In addition to the strike and the ice storm this school year, the district is still recovering from pandemic-related repercussions. 

At the school board meeting on Apr. 2, students commented on such concerns as staff and budget cuts throughout various programs, the challenge to follow through on commitments made in the Climate Crisis Response Policy (CCRP), and the proposed introduction of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC). The audience was peppered with signs protesting the JROTC as well as budget cuts made to Pre-K art programs. A Franklin student representative from Students for Justice in Palestine took to the stand to demand that the district take “substantive action.”

In the role of superintendent, Husk is in a position to affect thousands of students. The idea of helping as many people as possible is what she says drew her to taking the job. 

“I think I realized early on that I always wanted to help more kids. And if you’re in a classroom [as an educator], it’s great because you’re helping 25, 30. You’re at the high school level, maybe 160. But when you move into the administrative level, then you can start helping hundreds. And then when you get to the superintendent level, now you’re helping thousands,” Husk said.

So far, Husk has been enjoying her time as superintendent, though she admitted that there are times when she feels “a little stretched.” However, she has teams and systems to support her and said that her previous leadership experiences have prepared her well.

“The good news is I’ve done this many years. I’ve been in the top seat for 27 years, either as a superintendent or a CEO, and so I do know what to do. It’s just a matter of getting to know enough people and enough information to make the right decisions,” Husk said. 

Though Husk’s new position comes with its challenges, she hopes to be able to make a positive impact during her relatively short tenure.

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About the Contributor
Thisbe Delamarter, Online Editor
Thisbe Delamarter (she/her) is a senior who loves reading, learning and soccer. She loves journalism because she enjoys investigating and sharing new perspectives.

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