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Prince George's schools' new CEO excited, with little time to prepare

Monday - 7/1/2013, 5:24pm  ET

WASHINGTON - The first day of class for kids in Prince George's County is August 19. The newly-appointed chief executive officer, Dr. Kevin Maxwell, could have less than three full weeks to get ready for the big day.

Maxwell says he would like to start by August 1, but his contract s still being finalized.

Maxwell's appointment was controversial -- some community groups said they felt shut out of the selection process. Despite the controversy, Maxwell says he's excited about getting to work.

"Knowing that everybody wants what's best for children and what's best for Prince George's County makes me very optimistic we'll be able to work through those structural issues," Maxwell says.

Among the first thing to get his attention: the quality of instruction across the county's school system. Maxwell wants to make sure there is consistency in what is taught.

"That doesn't mean that you have to have everything completely scripted," he says.

Maxwell explains some flexibility has to be given so teachers can tailor instruction to the abilities and needs of their students. "But, you still have to get to the end. You have to get covered what you need covered," he says.

Maxwell is leaving Anne Arundel County to go to Prince George's where he attended elementary, middle and high school.

Last week, when his appointment was officially announced, Maxwell said he looked forward to "spending the rest of his life" working in Prince George's where he lives.

When asked if he was recruited for a predetermined number of years, Maxwell said no, but added he hopes to get his contract renewed in four years. That would give him two four-year contracts.

Referring to the committee that recruited him he said, "They were very clear that they want to stop this turnover. I'll be the eighth superintendent in 14 years."

Maxwell's departure from the Anne Arundel County school system came as a surprise to officials there. His contract in Anne Arundel requires that he give the school board three month's notice -- his departure was made public when it was leaked prior to Friday's announcement in Hyattsville, Md.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this story.

Follow @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

© 2013 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.