One of schools CEO Monica Goldson's 2019-20 Blueprint investments focuses on schools with high numbers of students living in poverty who need additional support. (Courtesy of PGCPS)
**FILE** Prince George's County Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson (Courtesy of PGCPS)

Monica Goldson and the Prince George’s County school board agreed to a four-year contract worth $302,000 annually to oversee Maryland’s second-largest public school system.

Goldson’s salary ranks among the top school district superintendents in the state, even higher than neighboring Montgomery County Superintendent Jack Morris at $290,000 annually. That jurisdiction has the largest student population of about 162,280, compared to Prince George’s roughly 133,000 students.

Goldson also joined Twitter Friday under the handle @drmonicaceo.

“I think she has done a lot of good things,” said school board member Belinda Queen, who voted Thursday with her colleagues on Goldson’s contract. “We are still worried about test scores, school-to-prison pipeline, equity in our schools. Those are things that we need to focus on.”

On Monday, July 1, Goldson posted a letter on Twitter from state Superintendent Karen Salmon which officially makes Goldson’s appointment official.

“I extend my best wishes to the board and Dr. Goldson for future success,” Salmon said.

On Thursday, the school board unanimously approved Goldson’s contract, which includes a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase, 30 days of annual leave and 20 sick days. The legal agreement also allows Goldson a driver for school business, life insurance and retirement benefits.

School board Chairman Alvin Thornton helped negotiate the contract on behalf of the board, but Queen said members did provide input on it.

The contract, which allows the board to conduct an evaluation to offer a raise based on school performance and other factors, is slated to expire by June 30, 2023.

In comparison, former CEO Kevin Maxwell received a $299,000 annual salary with 3.5 percent cost-of-living increase with 36 days of annual leave and 15 sick days.

Although Maxwell helped the county incorporate on the D.C. region’s biggest arts integration programs, his tenure included allegations of grade inflations, unauthorized pay raises for some employees and tense relationships with school board members.

During a press conference last month in Largo, school board members acknowledged the relationship between Goldson and her staff is open and “everyone works together.”

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the appointment of Goldson as “an easy choice” among a national search of 20 candidates.

Goldson has 28 years of experience in the school system as a teacher, math instructional specialist, assistant principal and the founding principal at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro.

The Potomac High School graduate also became the first woman from Prince George’s to serve as the school system’s leader.

She became interim CEO in July and immediately held community meetings, visited schools, traveled to Annapolis to push for state funding and helped negotiate a deal with the teachers’ union to restore pay raises lost during the recession.

Thornton called Goldson’s appointment “significant,” especially with her and Alsobrooks as two Black women who lead the county.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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