The Board of Education of Harford County (Board) today appointed Sean Bulson, Ed.D. to a four-year term as Superintendent of Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) during its business meeting.
Following a rigorous screening and selection process designed by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), as well as review and consideration of stakeholder input, the Board determined that Dr. Bulson best meets their criteria for the next superintendent in Harford County.
The appointment is effective July 1, 2018, following the June 30 retirement of current Superintendent of Schools Barbara P. Canavan.
Dr. Bulson’s contract agreement includes a $207,500 annual salary and notes that he must establish residency in Harford County by August 20, 2018.
“We spent many hours discussing the feedback we received from the students, staff, and community and feel that Dr. Bulson is the right choice for Harford County Public Schools,” said Board President Joseph L. Voskuhl. “Once again, I would like to thank Superintendent Barbara Canavan not only for her dedication and work as superintendent, but for the 40 plus years she has devoted to tirelessly serving the families and students of Harford County Public Schools.”
In February of this year, the Board contracted with MABE to help facilitate the Superintendent Search process. The process included the development of ideal criteria for the next superintendent of schools, first and second round interviews with the Board, a tour of the county and schools, and stakeholder input sessions. Feedback gathered, both internally and externally, indicated resounding support for Dr. Bulson.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to build on the great work already occurring in Harford County on behalf of students,” said Dr. Bulson. “From my own research and in the questions asked of me during the interview process, I see a community motivated to do more to focus on career preparation, equity, safety, and partnerships. I look forward to advancing that work.”
Dr. Bulson’s first steps involve addressing the immediate needs of the district and beginning a
plan for the future. With students returning on September 4, he wants to ensure the district’s
readiness for a safe, organized, and energized school opening.
Dr. Bulson will also begin a listening and learning tour to become acquainted with the
community. He plans to complete the first phase of this process in early fall. It will produce a
comprehensive summary of district strengths, opportunities, and recommendations for next steps
while also establishing a foundation for ongoing productive relationships with key stakeholders.
Dr. Bulson holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from American University, a
master’s degree in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Instruction from
Marymount University, and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from George
He began his career in education in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) where he was
an ESOL teacher; principal of Bethesda–Chevy Chase High School, an International
Baccalaureate World School; Director of School Performance; and Community Superintendent,
supervising 36 schools with approximately 24,000 students. Dr. Bulson served a total of 16
years in MCPS before relocating to North Carolina.
In 2011, Dr. Bulson became superintendent of Wilson County Schools in North Carolina,
supervising 12,000 students and 25 schools. He led the development of a district-wide strategic
plan to improve both accountability and transparency, and co-led the establishment of a
community wide youth plan which yielded benefits in health, safety, and workforce
development. To better prepare students seeking employment after high school, he engaged both
the business community and the community college to envision, plan, and open the Wilson
Academy of Applied Technology, an early college high school which prepares students for
careers in advanced manufacturing. During his tenure, Dr. Bulson served on the North Carolina
House Education Innovation Committee, and presented at national and state conferences on
topics such as Developing a Youth Master Plan, Creating a Welcoming School District
Environment, and Teacher Leadership.
In 2016, Dr. Bulson joined the University of North Carolina System to lead an initiative aimed at
opening laboratory schools at UNC institutions to serve students from low-performing schools.
He leaves his position as Interim Vice President for the Division of University and P-12
Partnerships to join HCPS.