|Release Date: 3/27/2012||Contact: Brenda Stiffler, 410-887-4126|
March 27, 2012 - S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D, the Houston Independent School District's Chief Middle Schools Officer, has been named Baltimore County Public Schools' Superintendent, for a four-year term effective July 1, 2012, to succeed Dr. Joe A. Hairston who is retiring after a distinguished and successful twelve-year tenure.
Dr. S. Dallas Dance currently serves as one of three Chief School Officers responsible for overseeing nearly 300 schools in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). HISD is the largest district in Texas and the 7th largest school system in the nation. Dr. Dance has held this position since March 2010.
Before beginning his tenure in Houston, Dr. Dance served in executive leadership positions in Virginia that leveraged his expertise in curriculum, instruction, and assessment, as well as school improvement and strategic planning. Those positions included Director of School and Division Improvement for the Chesterfield County Public Schools and Assistant Superintendent in Louisa County Public Schools. His experience in Virginia also includes time as a principal and assistant principal at the middle and high school levels, and as a high school English teacher in Henrico County. 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.
During his tenure in Houston, Dr. Dance has distinguished himself as a steady and driven leader 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 is an unflappable professional who is respected for his political acumen, his talent for building and leading high performing teams, and for his ability to engage staff, students, and community members.
As part of the senior leadership team, Dr. Dance has played a significant role in numerous 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 Grade 6-12 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. In addition, 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.
Dr. Dance is the proud father of a 2 ½ year old son, Myles Dallas Dance.
Dr. Dance commented, "I am thrilled, honored, and humbled to be joining such an outstanding school system. I intend to work tirelessly to reach out and collaborate with everyone who wants to make Baltimore County schools an even better place for students."
Lawrence E. Schmidt, school board president noted that, "The Board identified Dr. Dance as an individual with exceptional talent who can make an outstanding school system even better."
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.