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Brandywine School District names new superintendent

The Brandywine School District announces a new superintendent.

Lisa Lawson was appointed Brandywine’s new superintendent at the district’s Board of Education meeting Monday night.

Lawson was nominated in April amid heated discussions surrounding FOIA compliance when forming a working group to deliver contract proposals.

Lawson was the district’s Deputy Superintendent and previously served as its Assistant Superintendent and Director of Pupil Services. She also worked in the Christina School District as a paraprofessional, teacher, principal, and in other roles.

Lawson says her priority as superintendent is taking care of staff.

“I’m a firm believer in staff voice," Lawson says. "Whether that’s teacher voice in and around curriculum, instruction materials, and teaching practices, custodial voice in terms of how their roles play into the school system, school nutrition workers, para-educators.”

She says that includes listening to what educators need to create a positive and effective learning environment – particularly in early childhood.

“Play needs to come back," Lawson says. "It’s evidence based, it’s research based, and so I too believed that play needed to return. So that was one of the biggest initiatives we have taken, and over the last two years and ongoing, is literacy and a focus on early childhood.”

She notes since COVID, Brandywine has focused on literacy and early childhood education to make up for pandemic learning loss and declining student performance seen statewide.

Lawson says for the upcoming school year, Brandywine is targeting chronic absenteeism with a “four or less for success” campaign, emphasizing to parents that kids missing more than four days of school per year are more likely to fall behind.

Lawson also emphasized using summer programs to get students back on grade level, noting for students far below benchmarks, summer school should be mandatory.

Lawson adds Brandywine continues to work on staff retention and keeping salaries competitive with surrounding districts.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.