Kids hugging  each others, leadership


group photo

L-R: Derek Simmons, Superintendent; Troy Plutschak, Member; Richard Barton, President; Michele Wayman, Member; Mark Jones, Vice President; Donna DiGiacomo, Member


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.

Public Comment 

The members of the Caroline County Board of Education desire to hear the views and have the advice of interested citizens. The public comment session is held at each Board meeting for that purpose.

In-Person Public Comment - The time allotted for the Public Comment portion of the agenda is no more than 30 minutes total. The Board of Education does not engage in a discussion of the matter being brought to it but will, if appropriate, direct the Superintendent to respond at a later time.

Individuals interested in participating during the Public Comment portion of the meeting may sign up in advance by emailing All individuals, including those who email in advance, must sign in at the podium prior to the beginning of the meeting. Individuals who emailed in advance will be called to the podium first.

Individuals will be advised that:

  • Each person addressing the Board will have a five-minute time limit. Once the time limit has been reached, the speaker will be asked to finish their comments.

  • Specific and personal references to students, employees or others associated with the Board of Education will not be permitted. Should someone wish to bring something to the attention of the Superintendent or the Board about a specific person or student, they may do so in writing to the Superintendent or the Board.

  • Rude, slanderous, or threatening remarks or other behavior that is disruptive or interferes with the order of the meeting is not permitted.

  • Individuals may not give their time to others on the list of speakers.

Written Public Comment emailed to – Emails must be received no later than noon one day prior to 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 attached to the agenda. Written comments will not be read aloud during the meeting. 

Please note: Communications with Board Members or the Board of Education Office, including the phone numbers and email and home addresses contained in them, are part of the public domain and may be subject to disclosure under the Maryland Public Information Act.


Richard P. Barton, Vice President

Richard P. Barton, President

Elected, Term ends 2024 |

Richard (Rick) Barton was elected to the Board of Education in 2020.

Mr. 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.

Mark R. Jones, Member

Mark R. Jones, Vice President

Appointed, Term ends 2024 |

Mark Jones was appointed to complete a four year term that began in 2020.

Mr. Jones is the business owner of a grain farming operation that spans Caroline, Talbot, and Kent Counties.

Mr. Jones is a lifelong resident of Caroline County. He is a 1996 graduate of North Caroline High School and holds an associate degree in Poultry Science from Delaware Technical & Community College.

He resides in Denton with his wife and three children, all of whom attend Caroline County Public Schools.

Donna L. DiGiacomo, Member

Donna L. DiGiacomo, Member

Elected, Term ends 2024  |

Donna L. DiGiacomo was elected to the Board of Education in 2020.

Ms. 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.

Mr. Plutschek photo

Troy Plutschak, Member

Elected, Term ends 2026  |

Troy Plutschak was elected to the Board of Education in 2022.

Mr. Plutschak is a lifelong resident of Caroline County. He was born and raised in Preston, and is a 2003 graduate of Colonel Richardson High School.

In 2005, Mr. Plutschak began a career with  the Caroline County Department of Emergency Services in the Communications Division where is currently a Shift Lieutenant. He has extensive volunteer experience with both youth sports and with the Preston Volunteer Fire Company as Fire Chief.

Mr. Plutschak and his wife Heidi live in Preston with their daughter Avery who is a student at Colonel Richardson Middle School.

Arevia Michele Wayman, Member

Arevia Michele Wayman, Member

Appointed, Term ends

Arevia Michele Wayman was appointed to complete a four year term in 2021.

Ms. Wayman is currently employed as the Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion at Chesapeake College.  In 2009, she retired from Caroline County Public Schools after 36 years of service. She began as a classroom teacher and subsequently served as teacher specialist, school administrator, and Coordinator of Minority Student Achievement, Parent Involvement, Service Learning, and Social Studies. Following retirement, Ms. Wayman worked as a literacy coach in Delaware and a substitute teacher for CCPS, before her employment with Chesapeake College.

Ms. Wayman received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Morgan State University. Her Masters in Elementary Education and Education Administration was obtained from Salisbury University and George Washington University.

Ms. Wayman is active in the community as a member of Fellowship Chapter #58 OES, Allen AME Church, the Lockerman Alumni Association, the Mid-Shore Foundation, the Caroline County Branch of the NAACP, and the Morgan State University Alumni Association. She is also a trustee of the Order of the Eastern Star. Ms. Wayman has two children, both graduates of North Caroline High School, and resides in Hillsboro with her spouse.


Dr. Derek L. Simmons, Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Derek L. Simmons, Superintendent of Schools

Appointed July 1, 2022

At this time of his appointment in 2022, Dr. Simmons had been with with CCPS for over 20 years, beginning his career in 2001 as a social studies teacher at Colonel Richardson High School (CRHS). In 2005, he was appointed assistant principal at CRHS, followed by the principalship in 2008. Dr. Simmons became a supervisor of instruction in 2012 and director of student services in 2014. Prior to his appointment in 2022, he served as interim superintendent.

In various capacities, Dr. Simmons has represented CCPS with multiple groups including Caroline County Planning Commission, the Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council, the Eastern Shore Mental Health Coalition, YMCA of the Chesapeake Advisory Board, Caroline County Recreation & Parks Advisory Board, the Denton Rotary, Food for Learning and the Caroline Wellness Coalition. He is a member of the Maryland Athletic Directors Association, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, the School Superintendents Association (AASA), the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland Educational Consortium. Dr. Simmons is a graduate of Shore Leadership and Leadership Maryland, and has served on committees for both organizations. 

Dr. Simmons received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Salisbury University, and earned his Doctorate of Education in Innovation and Leadership from Wilmington University. He was awarded the Aubrey K. Doberstein Leadership Award which is presented to a graduating doctoral student for outstanding leadership and dedication to the philosophy and mission of Wilmington University.

Organizational Chart

Rachel Barry, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Board of Education
410-479-3250 x1160


Meeting Agendas

The Board utilizes BoardDocs to provide online access to agendas, policies and other information.

Meeting Schedule

The Board of Education's regular meetings are generally the first Tuesday of every month. Work sessions are generally held on the third Thursday of every month. Any changes to meeting dates or times are publicized in advance of the meeting.

If necessary, the Board meets at 5:00 pm for the purpose of moving into closed session*. The open session and work sessions begin at 6:00 pm.

2022-2023 Schedule

1. Regular Meeting Dates

2. Work Session Dates

July 5

July 19

August 2

August 16

September 6

September 20

October 4

October 18

November 1

November 15

December 6

December 20

January 3

January 17 with Caroline Co. Commissioners

February 7

February 21

March 7

March 21

April 4

April 18

May 2

May 16

June 6

June 20

*Boards of Education may meet in closed session as needed pursuant to state government under the Open Meetings Act (General Provisions Article 3-305).


CCPS utilizes BoardDocs to provide online access to all Board of Education policies. Please see below for the process to (1) find Policies on BoardDocs and (2) to use the search feature.

Policy Access


All Maryland school systems are required by state law to have an ethics policy that establishes standards of conduct for school system employees, school officials, Board of Education members, and candidates for election to the Board of Education. Each school system’s ethics policy is subject to review and approval by the Maryland State Ethics Commission.

CCPS Ethics Policy & Regulation

Caroline Ethics Panel Members:

  • Sheila Richardson

  • Elizabeth Pinkett

  • Keith Shaffer

To contact Ethics Panel members, please email Rachel Barry, Assistant to the Superintendent and Board of Education,


To start watching a live meeting, please click the "Watch Live" button below