The Caroline County Board of Education provides leadership and oversight for the Caroline County Public Schools by setting goals, establishing policies, and committing resources to benefit our students. The Board is comprised of three elected members (one from each district), two members appointed by the governor, and two non-voting student members (one from each high school). Each member serves for a term of four years beginning on the first Monday in December. Student members serve for a term of one year. The superintendent of schools serves as secretary-treasurer of the Board.
The Board generally meets the first Tuesday of every month. They also hold a work session every third Tuesday of the month. Closed Sessions are scheduled to discuss personnel matters, acquisition of property, and collective bargaining; to obtain legal advice; and to address other matters in accordance with Maryland Article 810-508.
Regarding Public Comment: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance at meetings is restricted. To ensure the opportunity for public input, the Board will accept written public comment via email sent to [email protected]. Emails must be received no later than noon on the day of the Board meeting, and must clearly state in the subject line or body of the email “For Public Comment.” Emails will be provided to Board members prior to the start of the meeting, and the content will be included in the Board minutes that follow the meeting.
James A. Newcomb, Jr., President
Elected, Term ends 2022 | [email protected]
James A. Newcomb, Jr. (Jim) was first appointed to a five-year term on the school board in 2006. In 2012, he ran for and was elected to a six-year term on Caroline’s first elected/appointed hybrid school board. He was re-elected in 2018.
Mr. Newcomb has a B.S. in Geography. He worked with the agricultural community for 24 years relating to Soil & Water Conservation Districts, and for the last six years, he has been employed with MidAtlantic Farm Credit in Denton.
Both Jim and his wife graduated from Colonel Richardson High School and have been actively involved in ensuring all children in in Caroline receive the best education possible.
Jim lives outside of Federalsburg with his wife Karen and their two children, Davis and Caroline, who both currently attend Caroline County Public Schools.
Donna L. DiGiacomo, Vice President
Elected, Term ends 2024 | [email protected]
Donna L. DiGiacomo retired from Caroline County Public Schools in 2020, having taught for five years at Lockerman Middle School and 16 years at North Caroline High School. She taught various English classes, English as a Second Language, Contemporary Issues, and U.S. History. Mrs. DiGiacomo often served as class advisor and as an advisor for a multitude of other clubs and activities.
Mrs. DiGiacomo served as an active duty sailor for ten years, rising to the rank of Petty Officer First Class. She is a recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Mrs. DiGiacomo is very active in the community as the Leo Club Liaison and a member of the Ridgely Lions Club. She also volunteers at a local food pantry and at the Caroline County Humane Society.
While serving in the U.S. Navy, Mrs. DiGiacomo received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland. She obtained her teaching certification from the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, and her Master’s Degree from Salisbury University.
Mrs. DiGiacomo was born in New Jersey and has resided on the Eastern Shore for the past 31 years. She currently lives in Henderson with her spouse.
Richard (Rick) Barton
Elected, Term ends 2024 | [email protected]
Richard (Rick) Barton is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc. (ICISF), which is an educational foundation that serves the mission of improving the lives of people who face the stress of critical incidents.
Mr. Barton served as the Superintendent of the Maryland Park Service for 17 years, directing a workforce that included several hundred first responders. He attained the rank of colonel before his retirement in 2007. The Maryland State Police provided his initial law enforcement training that began his 30-year public safety career.
After completing his State service, Mr. Barton served three years as the Caroline County Administrator and has since assisted several non-profit organizations and government agencies desiring progressive management change.
Mr. Barton volunteers extensively with several nonprofits including the YMCA, Trail Conservancy, Friends of Maryland State Parks and Special Olympics Maryland. He also has published dozens of nonfiction articles and is an author of fiction short stories.
Mr. Barton holds a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.S. in Natural Resources Management. He has two sons and two step-daughters, and he and his wife reside in Denton.
Kathy S. Dill, President
Appointed, Term ends 2024 | [email protected]
Kathy Dill was appointed to a four-year term on the board of education in 2016, and was reappointed to a second term in 2020. She has a BS degree from Salisbury University and a Masters in Administration from Salisbury.
Ms. Dill taught pre-school at Denton Child Development Center for eight years. She then taught at both the elementary and secondary level in Caroline and Talbot County Public Schools, and held administrative positions in Talbot. She retired after 28 years in education.
Ms. Dill is a member of the Maryland Council on Economic Education Board of Directors and currently serves on the Maryland State Department of Education Fine Arts Advisory Board.
Ms. Dill and her children are all graduates of North Caroline High School. She currently resides in Denton with her husband.
Appointed position; awaiting Governor appointment
Dr. Patricia W. Saelens, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Patricia Saelens began her tenure as superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools on July 1, 2017.
A native of Talbot County, Dr. Saelens began her teaching career in Dorchester County Public Schools in 1992 where she served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and coordinator.
In 2006, she came to Caroline as the coordinator of instruction. In the years that followed, she was the assistant principal at North Caroline High School, the supervisor of assessment and accountability, and the assistant superintendent of instruction.
After serving briefly as interim superintendent, the school board unanimously appointed Dr. Saelens to a four-year contract as superintendent of schools.
A graduate of Salisbury University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s in Administration/Supervision, Dr. Saelens received her doctorate in Leadership and Innovation from Wilmington University.
MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
As the proud Superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our website. I hope you will find it a valuable source of information and resources.
At CCPS, we value 21st Century learning. The Essentials for Learning movement, begun in 2017, improves the way students are learning in the classroom. From pre-kindergarten through graduation, we are teaching rigorous academic standards in ways that incorporate the skills students need to be successful in the classroom and in the workplace.
We are blessed in Caroline to have a highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff who believe in the amazing potential of over 5,800 students. We value the partnerships we have with our elected officials, law enforcement, and community agencies that work with us in the best interest of our students. Most of all, we are fortunate to have families that are supportive of our schools, and a high level of engagement from community and business partners.
With this foundation firmly in place, we ensure that our students have every opportunity to reach their goals, at school and into the future.
My best to you -
Dr. Patricia W. Saelens
Superintendent of Schools