Wicomico school board leaders facing pandemic-era challenges


Wicomico County public schools has entered a new phase of pandemic-era education, with schools able to serve more students in-person each school day, thanks to revised federal health guidance on distancing.

Supporting and advising schools Superintendent Dr. Donna Hanlin, the county school board and its newly established leadership is promising to do what is best for students.

In the board’s annual reorganization in December, members elected Gene Malone as Board Chair and Michael G. Murray as the Board Vice Chair.

Both men are graduates of Wicomico High School. With them on the board are Don Fitzgerald, Allen C. Brown, John Palmer, Tonya Laird Lewis and Ann B. Suthowski.

“I have always believed it is important to give back to the community that has been my home all my life,” said Malone. “My entire family, from my grandparents through to my grandchildren, are products of Wicomico County Public Schools. What our family has achieved started with our education in this school system.”

Malone, appointed to the board in 2016 and elected to a four-year term in 2018, previously served as the Vice Chair and Acting Chair.

Murray has a similar story of how education has been an integral part of his life.

“I was born and raised here, and I’m a product of the Wicomico County Public School System. My mother was a teacher here for almost 40 years, and my grandmother was a public school teacher in Sussex County. I grew up in a family of educators and I believe in public education,” said Murray.

He had a 35-year career in Delaware schools as a teacher, department head, vice principal and principal, then spent several years as a substitute teacher for Wicomico Schools.

He was appointed to the board by the County Council in 2017 and elected to a four-year term in 2018.