Superintendent, Board of Education Announce Appointments of Assistant Superintendent – Chief Academic Officer, Chief Finance and Operations Officer

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donna C. Hanlin and the Wicomico County Board of Education are pleased to announce two new members of the senior leadership team for Wicomico County Public Schools, effective July 1.

 At the April 11 Board meeting, the Board of Education acted on the recommendation of Superintendent Hanlin and approved the appointment of Frederick “Rick” Briggs as Assistant Superintendent – Chief Academic Officer. He will take over from Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Margo Handy, who is retiring June 30. Mr. Briggs is currently serving as Principal of James M. Bennett High.

 During the Board meeting Dr. Hanlin also announced that Edwin “Bruce” Ford will be the Chief Finance and Operations Officer for the school system. He will take over the Administrative Services duties currently held by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Cathy Townsend, who will retire on Aug. 31. Mr. Ford is currently serving as Comptroller for Wicomico County Public Schools.

 “We conducted an extensive search and interview process to fill these two senior leadership positions, and I’m delighted by the experience, leadership, and vision of these two candidates,” said Dr. Hanlin. “I’m proud to say that both are not only longtime employees of Wicomico Schools, but are also success stories from our school system.” Mr. Ford is a 1972 graduate of James M. Bennett High, and Mr. Briggs graduated from Parkside High in 1994.

 After earning a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Salisbury University, Mr. Briggs began his career with Wicomico County Public Schools in 1999. He taught math at Wicomico High for five years, then served one year as the school’s Dean of Students and four years as one of the school’s assistant principals. He was promoted to Principal in 2005, serving first at Bennett Middle for two years, at Mardela Middle and High for five years, and at James M. Bennett High for one year. He earned his Master of Education in School Administration fromSalisbury University in 2005.

 Mr. Ford earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude, from Salisbury University in 1976. He has been a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Maryland since 1978. He worked in the financial field as an Audit Manager for PKS & Co. and as Assistant Comptroller at Delaware Electric Cooperative Inc. He has served as Comptroller for Wicomico Schools since Aug. 1, 1987. He holds many professional memberships and leadership roles including American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, Association of School Business Officials International and Association of School Business Officials MD/DC, the Government Finance Officers Association, Board of Education Negotiations Team, and other statewide organizations.

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