Category Archives: Executive Board

From the Desk of Tom DeHart

Dear CASE Member,

It is time…

In June 2020 I signed a 2-year contract extension with the CASE Board of Directors to serve as the association’s Executive Director. I shared with the Board at that time that I would only commit to one year at a time but would inform the Board in a timely fashion should I choose not to serve the second year. In January, I informed the CASE Board of Directors that I would be leaving the Executive Director position at the end of June 2021.

I have served you good people for four years after a career as a teacher and administrator in BCPS, and another career as a Leadership Development Specialist at MSDE. The last year of the pandemic, cyberattack, and inconsistent system leadership has been tough on all of us, and I cringe at how that has impacted every one of our members. Quite simply, it is time for me to step away from the day-to-day requirements to do this job effectively.

While I won’t delineate the specific advances for our membership over the last four years, I take great personal and professional pride of the growth our association has made, and the increased respect of CASE from our members, as well as system stakeholders and leaders. Our membership has grown and maintained at our highest levels. The CASE Board will soon advertise for my replacement. If you know of anyone who you feel would be a good fit, please inform one of the Board members.

CASE is a very diverse group of professionals with many job descriptions and responsibilities. It is a difficult balancing act to ensure everyone feels represented. I will say that every member who ever reached out to me regarding Master Agreement concerns was represented to the best of my ability. I will continue to advocate for all members at every meeting, conference, or negotiation for the duration of my term. I thank each one of you for your support, comments, compliments, and concerns over the years. Every one of them helped me grow as a leader! As a principal, my goal was always to leave a school in better shape than when I inherited it. I believe that should be every leader’s goal in any position. I feel comfortable that I have done that with CASE.

Kathy has been very patient as she hears me rant and rave from my home office, and as our country begins to get back to a sense of normalcy, she and I want to travel and explore. It is time…

Until our paths cross again,


Tom DeHart
Executive Director, CASE

Parkville High School Principal

Parkville High School Principal Testifies Before Baltimore County Board’s Policy Review Committee

On February 26th, Parkville High School principal and CASE Executive Board member Maureen Astarita testified before BCPS Board’s Policy Review Committee. The committee is in the process of reviewing student discipline policies. Maureen shared members’ insights, concerns and recommendations. Thank you, Maureen, for a great presentation!

Parkville High School Principal

Cellphone Stipends for School Administrators

The BCPS Cell Phone Stipend Workgroup has recently reviewed cellphone stipend guidelines for all principals and assistant principals. The preliminary information below is being shared to make school administrators aware of this review process and that a recommendation for standardized stipends across all schools will be
forthcoming. At this time, the following recommendations are being made by the Cell Phone Stipend Workgroup:

1. All administrators should be able to receive and respond to emergency emails from the office of school safety; all administrators should be available to address other emergent matters in a timely fashion when they are away from their desk/office.

2. All assistant principals and principals should receive the cell phone stipend at the $56 (data) and $53 (phone) rate.

3. Cell phone stipends will continue be charged against the school-based operating budget.

4. Based on the guidelines that all principals and assistant principals should receive a stipend, stipends that are being added/initiated now should be effective July 1, 2018. Current school administrators will receive their stipends retroactive to July. School administrators who are assigned to new positions in August or later will not receive the July retroactive stipend.

Pursuant to these recommendations, principals are asked to take action now to implement cellphone stipends as necessary for themselves and their assistant principal(s).

If you are currently receiving a cellphone stipend that is above the recommended $56 (data) and $53 (phone) rate, you are not being asked to change your stipend amount at this time. However, more information about stipend rates will be communicated as the Cell Phone Stipend Workgroup continues its review.

Tom DeHart
Executive Director, CASE

Recent Board Comments

Chairman Gilliss, Vice Chair Stewart, Superintendent White, and
Members of the Board,

In January of this year I spoke to this Board of the necessity to provide essential professional development to the Community Superintendents and Executive Directors in the 4 System Zones around the shift in supervision of Principals from an outdated compliance mindset to one of coaching and support to improve the principals’ capacity for instructional leadership. I shared then that, sadly, there was great inconsistency within and between the Zones as to how principals were supported and evaluated.

Tonight, I am most pleased to share with you that under the leadership of Superintendent White, COE Billy Burke, and the Community Superintendents, BCPS has committed to changing that paradigm.

For the last few months, a representative workgroup has worked diligently to rework the principal evaluation which is framed by the 10 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSELs). Through a partnership with CASE, a meaningful and purposeful framework has been developed. This framework however, isn’t worth the paper on which it is printed if not implemented effectively and consistently across the system.

To ensure the fidelity of the implementation of this evaluation system, the leadership staff in all Zones have participated in unpacking the philosophy and strategies in supervising principals as laid out in the PSEL companion document Voluntary Standards for Principal Supervisors. In addition to this initial professional development for all Zone staff, the executive directors will meet regularly over the course of this school year as a professional learning community to share experiences, seek clarification, and learn from one another.

This ongoing collaboration between zone leadership will help create much needed consistency and inter-rater reliability. Amid everything an executive director does, by far the most important is increasing the skills of the building principal. This will be a heavy lift with new learning and mind sets on all sides. I am convinced however that this continuous growth model is an absolute necessary component to improve student achievement.

Thank you
Tom DeHart
CASE Executive Director

New CASE Executive Board Members Get Right to Work

New members to the CASE Executive Board bring experience and constituent diversity to the Board. Daniel Pizzo, Elementary Assistant Principal, Maureen Astarita, High School Principal, Michelle Proser, Central Office Coordinator, and Lisa Perry, Middle School Principal join the Executive team to round out the team who will work diligently to serve our members across the system.

Statement from Tom DeHart

New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of CASE is proud to announce that Tom DeHart is your new Executive Director, effective July 1, 2017. Tom returns to BCPS from MSDE. Tom was a teacher and administrator for our school system for many years, and we are pleased that he has chosen to return. Please join us in welcoming Tom DeHart to the CASE family.

Statement from Tom DeHart

“I have come full circle. I began my career in Baltimore County Public Schools as an elementary teacher many years ago. After teaching at the middle school level, I became a middle school assistant principal, alternative school principal, middle school principal, and finally a high school principal. My last 11 years have been spent at the Maryland State Department of Education researching leadership theory and creating and facilitating professional development opportunities for principals and assistant principals in all 24 Maryland school districts.

“I share my professional journey with you to underscore what I have learned through my experiences: That is, that no matter how much we have grown as a profession and whatever technology, programs, materials or curriculum are developed or provided, we are still a people-driven profession. The relationships we build with our public, parents, students, teachers, principals, central office staff, and executive leadership matter. Relationships are built on the foundation of genuine, transparent communication at all levels—communication that is timely, relevant, and consistent. I am honored to become your new Executive Director, and look forward to working with you to benefit our organization and the children of BCPS.”
— Tom DeHart, Executive Director