The Baltimore County Board of Education has named S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D, to a four-year term as superintendent, effective July 1, 2012. If confirmed, he will succeed Dr. Joe A. Hairston who is retiring after twelve-years.
Dr. S. Dallas Dance currently serves as the Houston Independent School District’s Chief Middle Schools Officer, overseeing nearly 300 schools in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), the largest district in Texas and the 7th largest in the nation. Before Houston, Dr. Dance worked in Virginia as director of school and division improvement for the Chesterfield County Public Schools and assistant superintendent in Louisa County Public Schools. He has also been a principal and assistant principal at the middle and high school levels, and a high school English teacher in Henrico County, Va. Dr. Dance has served as an adjunct professor at several universities, including the University of Houston, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received his master’s degree in administration and supervision and a doctorate in educational leadership.
Dr. Dance has distinguished himself as a steady and driven leader while in Houston, with outstanding communication, problem solving, and human relations skills. He is held in high regard by his peers for being decisive but thoughtful and for his unique ability to build consensus among stakeholders with divergent interests during contentious issues.
Dr. Dance has played a significant role in many milestones in HISD: record high graduation rates, record low dropout rates, record high participation and performance on Advanced Placement tests, unprecedented double-digit math gains in the district’s lowest performing schools, increase in the number of students at or above grade level in reading and math, and an overall decrease in the achievement gap. He has spearheaded the launch of several innovative initiatives including the development of a pre-AP English Language Arts and Mathematics curriculum in partnership with the College Board, the opening of two single gender college preparatory academies, the transformation of 20 low performing campuses in collaboration with Harvard University’s EdLabs, and the redesign of a school to accelerate at-risk students two grade levels in one year. Moreover, Dr. Dance has played a pivotal role in addressing difficult issues, primarily a budget deficit of more than $120 million over a two-year period.
“The Board identified Dr. Dance as an individual with exceptional talent who can make an outstanding school system even better,” said Lawrence E. Schmidt, school board president.
The appointment of Dr. Dance will be voted upon in open session at a time to be determined and subject to the statutorily mandated approval of the State Superintendent of Schools.