By Elsa Maxey
As of Monday, Dr. Betty Baitland has been the Interim Superintendent of the Stafford Municipal School District. She said she spent some time last week meeting with the district’s departing superintendent and others.
Next week, Dr. Baitland intends to work alongside Superintendent H.D. Chambers, “in a learning capacity,” she said. According to a school official, she will work two to three days a week until Chambers leaves on April 8, his last day of work, before he assumes his superintendent duties with the Alief school district. “ I will be serving until June 30,” said Dr. Baitland about her interim role.
A transition timeline for Chambers has been mapped out and was the topic of discussion at Monday’s special called school district board meeting. Dr. Baitland, whose appointment was announced last week, worked with FBISD for 30 years and served as the district’s superintendent from 2001- 2006. In her role as Interim Superintendent with SMSD, she will no doubt be in the midst of a $49.9 million bond package proposal for four propositions that the school district will place on the May ballot for voting.
In the meantime, the Stafford school board is seeking a permanent replacement for Chambers, who worked for the district since 2006. It has asked the community to assist in the development of a profile for assessing superintendent candidates and has provided a confidential survey due April 6, which can be also found on the school district’s website.
As for Dr. Baitland, who has continued her professional association in the field of education, during the last few years after having left FBISD, “I have been consulting,” she said. Dr. Baitland has worked with the Region IV Educational Service Center “doing superintendent training, board training, and superintendent searches.” Also having worked with a non-profit mathematics organization called Reasoning Mind, “I retired in the latter part of 2010, and since then have been volunteering in the community.”
Will she be applying for the superintendent’s position with the Stafford MSD? Dr. Baitland said “no.”