Teresa McMinn, a 24-year veteran journalist, is the Cumberland Times-News Digital Editor in Western Maryland.

Cox appoints school safety coordinator

Matthew Marlowe

CUMBERLAND — An appointment of a local school safety coordinator ends months of debate over the position.

Allegany County Public Schools Superintendent David Cox appointed Matthew Marlowe as coordinator of student support services and school safety effective July 1, according to public information officer Mia Perlozzo Cross on Wednesday.

Marlowe completed the Maryland Center for School Safety’s school resource officer course and is certified by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission as an academic instructor. He works with MCSS to teach the state-mandated SRO course. 

In the past, Marlowe worked in intelligence and counterterrorism operations for the Central Intelligence Agency for six years and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps for five years.

He was appointed the ACPS interim coordinator of student support services and school safety in 2018.

"I'm glad to be able to continue providing support to our students and look forward to helping make our schools a safe environment where every student has the opportunity to succeed,” said Marlowe via news release on Wednesday. 

Some school board members had other ideas for the position, and challenged Cox’s authority to make the appointment.

In February, David Bohn, vice president of the board, said a policy should be crafted to designate a full-time position of school safety coordinator.

At that time, ACPS attorney Mike Llewellyn said the board can establish policy that creates a position. 

However, member Deb Frank said a superintendent has supervisory power over school staff, whereas a school board makes policies.

For board members to act as superintendent “violates the law,” she said.

Frank also said she had a memo that indicated president Bob Farrell had someone in mind to fill a new coordinator position. 

Member Tammy Fraley talked of a lawsuit initiated by Farrell against the school board and Cox.

Farrell, a retired Maryland State Police trooper, was coordinator of safety, security and risk management. His post was eliminated as part of budget cost-cutting in 2015.

The civil lawsuit, initiated roughly three years ago, was for alleged wrongful termination of employment surrounding Farrell and his late wife Lorelee.

Recently, Cox announced that he’s leaving the school system to take a job in Tennessee, and United States District Judge George L. Russell III ruled against Farrell in the lawsuit.

On Tuesday, Fraley said the process to select an interim superintendent is being developed.

Additional new appointments effective July 1 made by Cox include:

• Heidi Laupert will assume the permanent position of principal at Allegany High School, where she has served in an interim capacity for the past year upon the retirement of Mike Calhoun.

• Candy Canan, principal at the Center for Career and Technical Education, will become principal at Fort Hill High School, filling a vacancy left at the end of the school year when principal Joseph Carter retires.

• Lisa Stevenson will become Cash Valley Elementary School’s principal. Jackie Enright, who has that title now, will be supervisor of elementary and early childhood education.

• Mark Morral, current assistant supervisor of transportation, will assume the role of supervisor of transportation.

• Tracey Leonard will drop “interim” from her title as assistant supervisor of athletics, health and physical education, and mental health.

Teresa McMinn is the digital editor at Cumberland Times-News. Email her at tmcminn@times-news.com, call/text her at 304-639-2371 and follow her on Twitter.

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