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Superintendent’s Cabinet

HCPSS’ Central Office is organized to promote equity, improve efficiencies, and ensure academic excellence for all students. The arrangement provides a leadership model that fosters cross and vertical collaboration and opens lines of communication at all levels throughout the school system. With a focus on instruction as a birth-through-graduation continuum, the new structure better positions the school system to support schools and communities, improve responsiveness to all stakeholders, and enhance transparency.

Bill Barnes.

William J. Barnes, Acting Superintendent

The Howard County Board of Education named Howard County Public School System Chief Academic Officer William J. Barnes as HCPSS Acting Superintendent at its public meeting on Dec. 14, 2023. Barnes began his service as Acting Superintendent on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024. Throughout his extensive career in education, he has been committed to enhancing educational outcomes for all students.

Learn more about the Acting Superintendent→

Acting Superintendent Barnes receives information and guidance from the Superintendent’s Cabinet. Members of the Cabinet include:

Dr. Karalee Turner-Little, Deputy Superintendent

Karalee Turner-Little oversees the coordination of Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, grants, policy, strategy/data privacy, assessment, research/evaluation, technology, and serves as a liaison to the Board of Education. Turner-Little has been an educator for more than 30 years, serving in school-based and central office leadership roles in four diverse school systems: HCPSS, Montgomery County Public Schools, Md., Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Schools, N.C., and Lexington City Public Schools, N.C. Recent leadership roles include Executive Director to the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Affairs.

J. Stephen Cowles, General Counsel

J. Stephen Cowles oversees all legal matters, legislative services and Public Information Act request fulfillment. He has been a practicing attorney since 1994 and worked at Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) between September 2003 and March 2022. Initially hired as a special education counsel at BCPS, he later served as the deputy general counsel and represented the Superintendent and the school system in matters related to employment law, civil rights law, and student matters. He also oversaw the resolution of special education due process and mediation complaints.
headshot of Judith Jones

Judith Jones, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Judith Jones oversees the HCPSS Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Ms. Jones has more than 30 years in education. Before joining HCPSS, she held leadership positions in Carroll County Public Schools, including Equity and Inclusion Officer, Supervisor of Equity and Community Outreach and Administrator. Her school career started in Baltimore City Public Schools where she taught for over 10 years and held the position of Academic Dean.

Dr. Anissa Dennis, Chief School Management and Instructional Leadership Officer

Anissa Dennis oversees a vertical educational delivery model that encompasses preschool through Grade 12. Dennis most recently served as HCPSS’ Chief Operating Officer, following roles of Administrative Director of Middle Schools and Coordinator of Leadership Development. Before joining HCPSS, she held leadership positions at Baltimore County Public Schools, which included Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and Director of Professional Development.

David Larner, Chief Human Resources and Professional Development Officer

David Larner oversees human resources, leadership development, and teacher and paraprofessional development. Larner has been with HCPSS for more than 20 years, most recently serving as Performance, Equity and Community Response Director for Area 2 schools. Previously he was Administrative Director, Principal at Clemens Crossing Elementary, Assistant Principal at Hammond Elementary, and Instructional Team Leader and Teacher at Lisbon Elementary and Laurel Woods Elementary.

Jahantab Siddiqui, Chief Administrative Officer

Jahantab Siddiqui leads the school system’s financial planning, budget management, public communications and government relations, and serves as liaison to local, state and federal leaders on issues that impact school system operations. He oversees the following offices: Accounting, Budget, Communications, Grants, Multimedia, Payroll, Partnerships, Print Services, and Student Transportation. Siddiqui is in his seventh year with the Howard County Public School System and previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Howard County Government. His prior roles include communications, budget and legislative roles for Howard and Montgomery counties and other organizations; and was a Special Assistant to U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski.
headshot of Dan Lubeley

Daniel Lubeley, Acting Chief Operating Officer

Daniel Lubeley oversees the school system’s operational business aspects including building maintenance, grounds services, safety and security, procurement, risk management, custodial services, capital planning and construction, and indoor environment. Lubeley previously served in HCPSS as the Director of Capital Planning and Construction and Manager of Design and Preconstruction Services in the Office of School Construction. Prior to coming to HCPSS, he worked within the K-12 education architecture field.

headshot of Dr. Caroline Walker

Dr. Caroline Walker, Acting Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Caroline Walker oversees shared accountability, curriculum and instruction, special education, and student services. Dr. Walker additionally serves as the Executive Director of Program Innovation & Student Well-Being, which includes Career and Technical Education, dual enrollment and digital education, as well as student services programs such as school counseling and health services. Prior to serving in this role, Dr. Walker was Director of Curricular Programs, Coordinator of Academic Intervention and Title I, Title I Resource Teacher, special educator, and social studies teacher. Prior to HCPSS, she worked in public and private schools in New York and Maryland.

Patrick Saunderson, Community Superintendent, Birth–Grade 12

Patrick Saunderson oversees the Area 1 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Most recently, Saunderson was Principal of Reservoir High School. During his 25 years at HCPSS, he served as Principal at Marriotts Ridge High School and Lime Kiln Middle School, Assistant Principal at Wilde Lake High School, and Teacher at Atholton High School.
Jennifer Robinson.

Jennifer Robinson, Community Superintendent, Birth–Grade 12

Jennifer Robinson oversees the Area 2 regional cluster of elementary, middle, and high schools. Throughout her 24 years in HCPSS, she has been a Performance, Equity, and Community Response Director, teacher at Long Reach High School, Special Education Instructional Facilitator for High Schools, Coordinator of Alternative Education Programs (K-12), Assistant Principal and Acting Principal at Centennial High School, Principal at Pataspco Middle School and Principal at Lake Elkhorn Middle School. Prior to joining HCPSS, Robinson was a teacher for Baltimore County Public Schools.

Dr. Kendra Johnson, Community Superintendent, Birth–Grade 12

Kendra Johnson oversees the Area 3 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Johnson comes to HCPSS from Montclair Public Schools in New Jersey, where she served as Superintendent. She has more than 23 years of education experience in Maryland, New Jersey and Washington State school districts, including but not limited to as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Title 1 Officer, Instructional Director, Chief Academic Officer, Assistant Superintendent for Equity, Curriculum and Instruction and Superintendent.
headshot of Justin Benedict

Justin Benedict, Executive Director of Information Technology

Justin Benedict oversees the school system’s information technology teams including enterprise applications, infrastructure, cyber security and business and project management teams. Prior to joining HCPSS, he served in leadership roles in the Department of Technology at Baltimore County Public Schools and in private sector companies.

headshot of Ebony Langford-Brown

Ebony Langford-Brown, Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Ebony Langford-Brown oversees vertically articulated curriculum and instruction that encompasses preschool through Grade 12. Langford-Brown most recently served as HCPSS’ Administrative Director of Elementary Schools. Before joining HCPSS, she held leadership positions in Montgomery County Public Schools, which included Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and Director of Elementary Instruction and Achievement.

headshot of Darin Conforti

Darin Conforti, Executive Director of Budget

Darin Conforti serves the school system providing leadership and support to the strategic development, management, and reporting for HCPSS’s more than one-billion-dollar operating budget. He has more than 30 years of government finance and administration experience serving in a variety of roles in the states of Utah, Nevada, and Maryland including legislative auditor, court administrator, county budget director, and department director.

James LeMon, Executive Director of Community, Parent and School Outreach

James LeMon provides leadership and support to HCPSS communities, parents and schools. LeMon most recently was the Principal at Wilde Lake High School, after serving as Assistant Principal and Teacher at several HCPSS schools. Prior to his education career, he held a variety of roles, including as a Social Worker, Family Therapist, Basketball Coach and Juvenile Probation Officer.
headshot of Dr. Terri Savage

Dr. Terri Savage, Executive Director of Special Education

Terri Savage oversees the HCPSS Department of Special Education. Over the past 25 years, she has served students and families in four Maryland counties, including St. Mary’s, Prince George’s and Montgomery before joining HCPSS. Previously, she was an elementary special educator, high school special education team leader, a staff development specialist, K-12 curriculum supervisor for specially designed instruction, and a special education instructional facilitator and coordinator.
Justin FitzGerald

Justin FitzGerald, Director of Schools

Justin FitzGerald supports the Community Superintendent in overseeing the Area 1 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Most recently, FitzGerald was principal at Guilford Elementary School. He previously worked in Prince George’s County Public Schools as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Now entering his 26th year working in education, he currently serves as a college supervisor for McDaniel College, in which he supervises aspiring graduate-level administration educators.

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis, Director of Schools

Jonathan Davis supports the Community Superintendent in overseeing the Area 2 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Mr. Davis has worked in the Howard County Public Schools for 30 years. During the last 18 years, he served as principal at Swansfield, Bollman Bridge, Guilford and Cradlerock elementary schools. Prior to those roles, he was an elementary school teacher and later served as assistant principal at Phelps Luck Elementary School.

David Burton

David Burton, Director of Schools

David Burton supports the Community Superintendent in overseeing the Area 3 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Mr. Burton’s educational career includes service as principal of Glenelg High School and Long Reach High School. Before joining HCPSS, he held various leadership positions with Prince George’s County Public Schools, including middle school science teacher, assistant principal, and high school principal.

Brian Bassett

Brian Bassett, Director of Communications and Engagement

Brian Bassett oversees communications and engagement efforts for the school system. For more than 23 years, he has developed and implemented strategic initiatives to ensure all stakeholders are informed of issues important to them and able to be engaged in the educational process. He also oversees media relations.

Tim Guy

Timothy Guy, Director of Assessment and Reporting

Timothy Guy oversees assessment, state reporting and the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. Guy previously served in HCPSS as the Coordinator of Assessment, Facilitator of Staff Communications, Facilitator of eLearning and a science teacher at Mount View Middle School. Before coming to HCPSS, he also was a high school mathematics teacher in Anne Arundel County schools.

Kerrie Wagaman

Kerrie Wagaman RN, MSN, BSN, NCSN, Director of Health Services

Kerrie Wagaman oversees the office of school health services that strives to improve the health and well-being of children and in some cases the whole family and broader community. Wagaman has been in this position since joining the Howard County Public School System in 2014. Prior to joining HCPSS, Wagaman was a school nurse in the Carroll County Public School System for seven years. and a charge nurse in Labor and Delivery for nine years for the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.