News Mccartney Honored By Gc Board Of Trustees - Garrett College
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Campus News

June 27th, 2023

McCartney honored by GC Board of Trustees

Board vice chair resigning after seven years to become interim superintendent

Dr. Brenda McCartney

Photo by John Rudd

Dr. Brenda McCartney, right, receives a Garrett College Board of Trustees Resolution of Appreciation from Board Chair Don Morin at last Tuesday night's meeting. McCartney resigned from the Board after seven years of service, the last five as vice chair, to become interim superintendent for Garrett County Public Schools starting July 1st.

Dr. Brenda McCartney was honored last Tuesday night by the Garrett College Board of Trustees during her final Board meeting before becoming interim superintendent of Garrett County Public Schools.

"The Board is going to miss Brenda's leadership and wise counsel," said Don Morin, who chairs the Board of Trustees. "At the same time, we know she will do a great job for the school system and the community as interim superintendent."

McCartney has served seven years on the Board of Trustees, the last five as vice chair. She indicated leaving the Board to become interim superintendent was bittersweet.

"I've enjoyed being on the Board and working with both my Board colleagues and all of the College staff," said McCartney. "By the same token, it's quite clear I can't do both [serve on the Board and as interim superintendent]."

McCartney said the county has "a very healthy educational environment pre-K through 14."

"That's possible because of the relationship between GCPS, the College, the community and our elected leaders," said McCartney, who retired in 2007 after 35 years in public education, the last nine as GCPS assistant superintendent. "In my new role, I want to focus on sustaining and strengthening this healthy education environment."

Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president, said McCartney "was a voice of experience who will be keenly missed."

"I've been extremely fortunate to have had someone with Brenda's wide range of educational experience on our Board," said Midcap. "I've always known I could come to Brenda for advice or just to listen. I'm pleased I will be able to continue working with Brenda in her new role."

McCartney worked 30 years within the Garrett County school system as a teacher, principal, director, and eventually assistant superintendent. Since retiring, she has worked as an independent consultant in the field of school renewal, instructional coaching, and leadership development.

McCartney has also taught as an adjunct professor at Shepherd University and Frostburg State University, which she said reinforced in her mind the similarities among the various levels of education.

"We all have the same mission – we want to educate learners well," said McCartney. "We all know as instructors that you really have to bring your best game, your best instructional strategies, to engage and support students."

McCartney indicated the key economic principles are also the same throughout education.

"Just look at compensation," she said as an example. "If you want the best people in positions, you have to be willing to compete on salary and to be willing to provide people a good work environment."

McCartney was appointed to the Garrett College Board of Trustees in 2016. During her Board tenure, the College built the Daniel E. Offutt III STEM Center and the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College, and began construction of a multipurpose turf field that will be completed this summer.

"One of the things I'm most pleased with is the PAC, but not just the building," said McCartney. "The community partnerships that were built in an effort to make it financially sustainable are going to be keys to the PAC's success."

McCartney said she attended a recent Southern Garrett Middle School performance at the PAC that reinforced the facility's important community role.

"There are lots of payoffs when we connect members of the community to the College," said McCartney. "The more people we get to come into the College, the better it is for our community. I am hoping that same sort of connection happens with the development of the turf field."

During McCartney's Board tenure, the College has regularly led the state's community colleges in key student success metrics, including graduate and transfer rates. GC has also set new records for major internal benchmarks, including this year posting its highest percentage of students in good academic standing in the 17 years of tracking.

"The programs the college has developed to promote student success have really shown great results," said McCartney. "The faculty and staff should be very proud of the success metrics. I don't own any of that – I just support it."

McCartney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairmont State University, a Master of Arts degree from Frostburg State University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Maryland.

McCartney moves into the interim superintendent's role on July 1st. She and her husband, Sull, live in Oakland.