John Deasy, superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District since 2001, has been selected for the top post at Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland.

Deasy is expected to leave the local school district in May.

Prince George’s County Public Schools headquarters is in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, less than 30 miles east of Washington, D.C.

Deasy beat out two other candidates from Kansas and New York for the superintendent position and must now negotiate a contract with Prince George’s County Public Schools.

“My most conflicted emotions are about leaving this school district and community,” Deasy told the Santa Monica-Malibu board of education Thursday, February 16th.

“I have been honored to work side by side with the most dedicated and competent staff, administrators, teachers, and students,” Deasy said.

At the Santa Monica-Malibu district, Deasy earned $153,000 per year plus bonuses and led 19 schools that enroll 14,000 students.

Prince George’s County Public Schools pays its superintendent $250,000 plus bonuses, has 199 schools, enrolls 136,000 students, and is the 17th largest school district in the nation.

“Dr. Deasy is the lead candidate as a result of being the clear consensus choice of the board and our many stakeholder groups,” said Charlene Dukes, chair of the Prince George’s County Public Schools board of education personnel committee.

“We look forward to continuing our due diligence by visiting the Santa Monica area before finalizing an offer.”

Due diligence is a contract process in which officials from Prince George’s County Public Schools travel to Santa Monica and Malibu to discuss Deasy’s professional background with Santa Monica-Malibu district officials.

The process also involves negotiations between Deasy and Prince George’s County Public Schools concerning salary, bonuses, and benefits.

The office of the Maryland State Superintendent of Instruction must review the Prince George’s County board of education’s appointment of Deasy.

Prince George’s County board members will not formally appoint Deasy until the due diligence process is complete.

The 45-year-old Deasy became superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District after being superintendent of Coventry Public Schools in Rhode Island from 1996 to 2001.

He held a variety of positions at Coventry Public School from 1987 to 1996.

He was also a teacher and administrator from 1983 to 1987 at La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale, New York.

Deasy has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Providence College in Rhode Island and a doctorate from the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

Prince George’s County Public Schools predominantly enrolls an African-American student population (75 percent) and Deasy would be its first Caucasian superintendent since 1995.

Half of Santa Monica-Malibu’s student population is African-American, Latino, or Asian.

The other two candidates for the Prince George’s County Public Schools superintendent’s position were African-American and Deasy would replace African-American superintendent Andre Hornsby.

Hornsby resigned under pressure last year in the middle of an ethics investigation.

The Santa Monica-Malibu board of education will meet in closed session Thursday, February 23rd, to discuss Deasy’s pending departure and appoint an interim superintendent.

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