Durham superintendent finalist for Maryland job

Mar. 05, 2013 @ 10:40 PM

Eric Becoats, hired in 2010 as superintendent of Durham Public Schools, may be moving north.

He reported to Board of Education members on Monday that he is one of three finalists for the job of superintendent at Prince George’s County. That’s a district with a $1.6 billion annual budget, and with 125,000 students in more than 200 schools - about four times the size of DPS.

Becoats, who has seen Durham schools through consecutive years of improvement in graduation rate and student achievement, wasn’t available for comment about the new job opportunity on Tuesday.

However, the board’s vice chair, Minnie Forte-Brown said that he hasn’t been shopping his resume around.

“I know that for a fact,” she said.

Instead, she said that the superintendent is being head-hunted for opportunities such as the one in Maryland.

“I think any smart person always keeps their resume active,” Forte-Brown said. “I think Dr. Becoats is committed to Durham, but I also think he’s courted by other people because of the things he has accomplished. It would be foolish of him to say, ‘No, I’m not interested.’”

But he doesn’t have the job yet and Forte-Brown hopes Becoats will choose to stay in Durham.

“We hope he would stick around, but that’s a choice he would have to make,” she said.

The only sense of timeline comes from the Prince George’s County Schools website, which indicates that their board wants to fill the superintendent spot sometime this spring. Sources in the Maryland school district did not respond to requests for comment.

Now, Durham school leaders wait and see what happens next.

“That’s out of his control,” Forte-Brown said. “He has a job here, a commitment here, and he’s focused on what’s happening in Durham.”

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