“I’m here to learn!” said Dr. Andraé Townsel one year ago as he began to lead Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS).  After his first year as the Superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Townsel states that, “I’ve learned that our parents are very passionate about the education of our young people. The entire community is passionate about the education that our students receive.  That’s the one thing I know first and foremost! So, it’s my duty as a Superintendent to always ensure the best education possible during my tenure as a Superintendent.” Turns out, Dr. Townsel is just as passionate, and a fast learner in a class of his own.

Dr. Andraé Townsel showing his support for the Patuxent High School Football Team during the State Championship game this past season. Credit: Solomons Island Photography

Dr. Townsel is personable and likeable.  He’s quick on his feet because he is prepared.  Dr. Townsel is a leader with an impressive balance of style and substance.  

Dr. Townsel is raising the bar in education Calvert County and his leadership has caught the attention of the other Superintendents throughout the State; Townsel has been voted by his peers as the  President-Elect of the Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM), a noteworthy accomplishment and recognition.

We had a conversation with Dr. Townsel looking back on his first year as Calvert County Public Schools Superintendent:

Southern Maryland Chronicle (SMC):  What are your overall impressions of Calvert County?

Dr. Townsel:  We have a beautiful community, a great place to live, a great place to raise a family; beautiful landscape and parks, Jefferson Patterson Park specifically.  My family and I love the water. I’m officially a Calvert homeowner and we, as a family, are very excited to be a part of the community.

SMC:  Tell our readers something about yourself, a few fun facts:

Dr. Townsel:  I love the arts and sports.  I enjoy music and drawing.  One of my favorite artist is Busta Rhymes.  I like to draw Marvel characters.  I played sports at a college level.  Being active and having creative outlets are important to the mind and body.

SMC: What were your biggest accomplishments last year?

Dr. Townsel:  Being able to secure raises for all our educators.  I am also very excited to see how well our students performed this past school year.  We will not have the results until this fall, but all indications are looking favorable.

SMC: What has been your biggest challenge?

Dr. Townsel:  Understanding and navigating The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and the political landscape that comes with the plan.  The Blueprint became law in 2021.  Our job now is to fund and implement the plan in our schools and community.  It is a huge undertaking, and we are working hard to understand, plan, strategize, and fulfill our obligation accordingly.

SMC: How would you describe your relationship with our Board of County Commissioners?

Dr. Townsel: We have a great professional working relationship. It is transparent, trusting, and accountable; and that’s what you want.  The first thing we were able to do was establish that trust which is good. Now we can build upon that.

SMC:  Why was the Playbook remediation program that sent 20 students to the Superbowl so controversial?

Dr. Townsel:  It was controversial because of the lack of understanding in the impact that it could potentially have in our young people.  I should have communicated better.  There was an initial letter of concern by BOCC [Board of County Commissioners] which was later rescinded and replaced with a letter of support.  I will continue to work with our County Commissioners to strengthen our communication and joint efforts.   We are all in the same page and the BOCC fully supports the initiative.

SMC:  What are your goals for CCPS?

Dr. Townsel:  I truly believe that our better days are in front of us.  I believe with the talent that we have, with the personnel that we have, with the support of our community, in partnership with the BOCC, and with the direction that we’re going in as we’re developing our new strategic plan, there no reason why we can’t be a top three school district in the State.

In the short term, an increase of the amount of young people who earn scholarships by increasing dual enrollment and being prepared for college.  Increasing our young people receiving scholarships by increasing participation in our athletic programs or other enrichment programs like the Arts or NJROTC.  Using our new career counselors and the workforce development initiative to work with our young people to put them on a path to receive certifications and skill trades to be prepared to enter the workforce or military.

It should be noted that The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has initiated a performance audit into the Board of Education budget but has made it clear that Townsel is not subject to the audit given that he has only been on the job for one school year.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is working on a separate article solely dedicated to said audit.

Dr. Townsel gets it. He has done his homework. While the results of his body of work still too early to evaluate, we have every reason to believe that we are headed on the right path in “raising the bar.”

“It is privilege and a pleasure to serve our community”, said Townsel.  “I am delighted and proud to call Calvert County home.”  Concluded, Townsel.

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