Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools
Distinguished as a vibrant and driven leader, Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance has united Baltimore County Public Schools students, staff, and the community into Team BCPS, a powerful force committed to deliberate excellence and to producing globally competitive graduates. Working in collaboration with Team BCPS, Dr. Dance spearheaded the development of Blueprint 2.0, a five-year strategic plan focused on improving academics, safety, communications, and organizational effectiveness.
Dr. Dance is highly regarded for his problem-solving, consensus-building, communication, and human relations skills. He believes strongly in the potential of every student and that, through functioning as Team BCPS, all students will achieve at the highest levels.
Since assuming the superintendency in July 2012, Dr. Dance has accelerated activities to prepare for the adoption of Common Core Curriculum in school year 2013-2014; launched an audit of special education services; restructured administration to ensure more targeted support to the schools that need it most; defined a trajectory to ensure that students are college and workforce ready; established a new Office of School Safety and Security; and continues to be proactive in initiating preventive measures to promote school safety. Open dialogue with the community – both in person and digitally – and professional development for all staff members are additional hallmarks of his administration. At the school system's inaugural State of the Schools event, held in March 2013, Dr. Dance announced plans to move the school system to a 1:1 digital learning environment and to expand world languages so every student has equitable access to learning and developing proficiency in a second language.
As Superintendent of the 26th largest school system in the nation, Dr. Dance is responsible for overseeing the instruction of 107,033 students and leading and managing a $1.5 billion budget, 18,783 employees, and 174 schools, centers, and programs.
Prior to his appointment in Baltimore County, Dr. Dance served as one of three Chief School Officers responsible for the administration of nearly 300 schools in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), the seventh largest school system in the nation and the largest in Texas. As part of the HISD senior leadership team, Dr. Dance played a significant role in numerous milestones, including achieving record high graduation rates and 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 (achieved in collaboration with Harvard University's EdLabs); an increase in the number of students at or above grade level in reading and math; and an overall decrease in the achievement gap.
At HISD, Dr. Dance spearheaded the launch of several innovations including a pre-AP English language arts and mathematics curriculum (in partnership with the College Board); two single-gender college preparatory academies with a strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics focus; and the redesign of a school to accelerate at-risk students two grade levels in one year. In addition, Dr. Dance assumed a pivotal role in addressing difficult issues, primarily a budget deficit of more than $120 million over a two-year period and school facility efficiencies. Due to its progress, HISD was one of four finalists for the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education, which is considered the top honor for any school district.
Before his tenure in Houston, Dr. Dance served in executive leadership positions in Virginia that leveraged his expertise in curriculum, instruction, assessment, school improvement, and strategic planning. Those positions included Director of School Improvement for Chesterfield County Public Schools and Assistant Superintendent for Louisa County Public Schools. While in Virginia, he also worked as a Principal and Assistant Principal at the middle and high school levels, and as a high school English teacher in Henrico County Public Schools.
Dr. Dance has served as an adjunct professor at several universities, including the University of Houston, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University. It was at Virginia Commonwealth that he received his master's degree in administration and supervision and a doctorate degree in educational leadership. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Virginia Union University.
A resident of Baltimore County, Dr. Dance enjoys travel, music, reading, and all sports, especially golf. He is the proud father of one son, Myles Dallas Dance.