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“I want to continue to do the work.”

John Lee
Baltimore County School Superintendent Darryl Williams. Credit: John Lee

Baltimore County School Superintendent Darryl Williams says he would like to stay on as the head of the school system beyond his current contract, which expires in July of next year.

This is Williams’ first time as a school superintendent, and he has led the county schools through COVID-19 and the November 2020 ransomware attack.

“There’s no blueprint or resource that you can go to about how do you run a system after a pandemic, after a cyber attack, and after everything else that Baltimore County has experienced,” Williams said in a recent interview. “But I’m committed to do this work and I think our system needs that commitment for several more years to come.”

Williams has had his critics.

Some parents questioned his decisions about closing and reopening schools during COVID.

He angered County Executive Johnny Olszeeski, County Council members and state legislators for not telling them more about the cyber attack.

In 2021, Republican State Sen. Chris West proposed legislation that would have allowed more conditions to be put on money the county provides the school system. West did that after a meeting between Williams and the county Senate delegation in which West said the superintendent refused to answer their questions.

West said at the time, “It just seems to me unacceptable that any organization gets $2 billion a year of taxpayer money and doesn’t feel like it has to account for how it spends it or what it does.”

West’s legislation did not pass.

Superintendent Williams has said repeatedly he could not talk about the details of the cyberattack because it was an ongoing criminal investigation.

Williams will be asking for a re-up from a very different school board than the one that hired him at an annual salary of $290,000 three years ago. Most members are either not running for reelection or are not asking to be reappointed to the hybrid board.

“I want to continue to do the work because our kids deserve the work,” Williams said.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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