WILMINGTON — Dr. Mark Holodick, former superintendent of the Brandywine School District, has been nominated to serve as the next secretary of the Delaware Department of Education, Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday.
Gov. Carney’s nomination must be approved by the Delaware Senate. Dr. Holodick will replace Dr. Susan Bunting, who is slated to step down from her role in December after five decades in Delaware education. The announcement was made last week.
“I appreciate being given the opportunity to work collaboratively with educators and stakeholders across Delaware with a focus on improving opportunities and outcomes for all students,” Dr. Holodick said in a prepared statement. “If confirmed by the Senate, I will assume the position of Secretary with much gratitude and enthusiasm.”
Last year, Dr. Holodick joined the Delaware Academy for School Leadership at the University of Delaware, where he leads coaching and professional development programs for principals and other school and district leaders. Prior to that, he had been superintendent of the Brandywine School District since 2009, overseeing 16 schools with more than 10,000 students.
Previously, Dr. Holodick was principal at Concord High School and at a blended middle and high school in the Delmar School District.
He was named Administrator of the Year in 2016 by the Delaware Association of Educational Office Professionals and Superintendent of the Year in 2017 by the Delaware Chief School Officers Association.
On Tuesday, Gov. Carney said he thought Dr. Holodick did an excellent job as superintendent in Brandywine.
"If you look at the results of the achievement levels of his students, particularly his students that are in the northern part of the city of Wilmington, students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, those achievement levels are the best among the districts that have pieces of Wilmington," he said. "That’s a big priority for me."
He added that Brandywine is the only school district that has its own desegregation plan.
"I think that’s important and a part of why they were able to be more successful than the other districts," he said. "The Redding Commission is doing its work. They have some recommendations they need to make. We believe that if we can get our collaboration zone up and running with specific focus on those schools and those children, not just Christina (School) District but the other schools in the city, with Mark’s leadership and a team on the ground, that will set the table for redistricting or other things that the Redding Commission might propose."
He said he believes Dr. Holodick is a good person to lead that effort.
"He’s been the head of the educational leadership program at the University of Delaware, so he brings those resources to the table and his hands-on efforts working with educational leaders, principals, superintendents and assistant superintendents," he said. "He’s done quite a bit of that work, and his leadership in Brandywine was impressive.”
He also described Dr. Holodick as "easy to work with," like Dr. Bunting is.
"We have some big challenges to put in place what we’d like to see in terms of a collaboration zone in the city of Wilmington," he said. "I think Mark brings that experience to the table with the best results."
Tim Mastro contributed to this report.