Assistant Superintendent Appointed; Other Administrative Changes Announced


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Dr. Tara A. Downes has been named Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. Her appointment was approved by the Caroline County Board of Education at their June work session. 

Dr. Downes is currently the principal at Woodbridge Middle School. She is a graduate of North Caroline High School and a lifelong resident of the Eastern Shore. She began her career in 2005 as a media specialist in Worcester County Public Schools and subsequently moved into administrative positions in Worcester, Queen Anne’s, and Woodbridge, Delaware public schools. 

The assistant superintendent for instruction is responsible for the oversight of all instructional and student services programs and services, and is the designated Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Coordinator. In addition, the role includes participation in evaluation and performance review, budget development, review and administration, and acting as the superintendent’s designee as required. 

Superintendent Dr. Derek L. Simmons said that he appreciated the Board allowing the position to come back into the system and budget. “With her background and experience, Dr. Downes is an excellent fit for the position,” Dr. Simmons said. “We are excited to welcome her to the Caroline family.” 

Dr. Downes holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Salisbury University, a Master’s in Instructional Technology/School Library Media and a Master’s in Human Resource Development/Educational Leadership from Towson University, and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University. The topic of Dr. Downes’ doctoral dissertation was the Impact of High-Quality Tier I Instruction on Narrowing the Achievement Gap of Special Education Students.

Several other administrative positions were announced at the meeting:

Sarah Crebs was named principal at Denton Elementary School. Ms. Crebs has been the assistant principal at Ridgely Elementary since 2018, and was previously a Special Education teacher in Caroline and other districts. She has her administrative certificate from Salisbury University and is working on her doctorate in Contemporary Literacy, also at Salisbury University. 

Brett Evans was named assistant principal at Ridgely Elementary School. Mr. Evans is currently a Social Studies teacher and coach at Colonel Richardson High School. He has his Master’s from the University of Maryland and will complete his administrative certification from Salisbury University shortly. 

Tommy Jefferson was named assistant principal at North Caroline High School. Mr. Jefferson is currently the dean of students at Colonel Richardson High School, and was previously a Special Education teacher. He has his Master’s in Special Education from Wilmington University and an administrative certificate from Salisbury University.

Raquel Johnson was named Coordinator of Special Education. Ms. Johnson is currently a Special Education at Lockerman Middle School, and has previous experience in Delaware as a Behavioral Specialist and administrator. 

In earlier news releases (June 9 and June 22), it was announced that Stephanie Brohawn had been named principal at Federalsburg Elementary School, Rob Willoughby had been named supervisor of Human Resources, and Briana Walker would be joining Greensboro Elementary School as an assistant principal.