Barbara P. Canavan named Harford County Public Schools interim superintendent


Just got word that Harford County Public Schools has named Executive Director of Middle School Performance Barbara P. Canavan as interim superintendent. Here are the details …

Barbara P. Canavan Named HCPS Interim Superintendent

The Board of Education of Harford County named current Executive Director of Middle School Performance Barbara P. Canavan as interim superintendent of Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) today, May 13, 2013, to fill the vacancy that will be left by Dr. Robert M. Tomback at the conclusion of his four-year term on June 30, 2013. Mrs. Canavan will serve a one-year term as interim superintendent from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.

Mrs. Canavan is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in secondary education and French. She received her Master of Arts in Middle School Education from Columbia University Teachers College and a Master of Arts Equivalency in Administration and Supervision from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland.

Her career in the field of education began in 1970 as an elementary school teacher at the Sacred Heart School in Brooklyn, New York. In 1973, she made the move to the Harford County Public School System, serving as an assistant middle school teacher at Aberdeen Middle School before accepting a position as assistant principal at Edgewood Middle School in 1978. She moved on to become the assistant principal at Magnolia Middle School in 1983. After serving six years at Magnolia Middle, in 1989, Ms. Canavan accepted an assistant principal position at Southampton Middle School where she became principal in 1991 and remained there for the next 19 years. As the principal of Southampton Middle School, Mrs. Canavan encouraged open- ended dialogue in order to assess the needs of the students, the staff and the community. Her active leadership and good judgment in working with all stakeholders allowed her to develop positive relationships and conduct ongoing programs to support student achievement. Upon being named the executive director of middle school performance in 2010, Mrs. Canavan assumed the responsibility of the direction of curriculum development and instructional programming. While serving in this role, she has been able to gain a global perspective of school system management serving the needs of students and staff throughout the county.

“Mrs. Canavan is celebrating 40 years of dedicated service and commitment to the students and staff of Harford County Public Schools as a teacher, administrator and executive director,” Board of Education President Rick Grambo commented. “As a Board, we are confident in her abilities to lead this school system and community through this time of transition as the interim superintendent, and we look forward to working with her to move forward with our mission to prepare all of our students to succeed academically and socially.”

Mrs. Canavan has served on and chaired many committees and task forces in Harford County, which have been instrumental in determining policy and procedure as well as the vision and mission of HCPS. She has presented key education topics at the local, state and national levels. As vice president, president and chief negotiator for the Association of Public School Administrators and Supervisors of Harford County (APSASHC) for 19 years, Mrs. Canavan was able to develop a keen understanding and appreciation for the collective bargaining process.

“As a professional educator and resident of Harford County, I have been afforded a myriad of experiences which have prepared me to serve our community as Interim Superintendent,” stated Mrs. Canavan. “I am committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to afford all students optimal opportunities to realize their full potential; to ensure that our workforce is superior in both talent and moral fiber; and, to safeguard the efficacious management of fiscal matters.”