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Wicomico Superintendent Explains Importance of Manipulating Others for Effective Leadership


Before landing her job as Superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools, the current Superintendent received her Doctorate in Education in 2014 after completing her doctoral thesis that iced the cake for her graduation. Receiving accolades from her professors, she moved onto a slam-dunk interview to be selected in 2016 by an appointed board to oversee the operations of Wicomico County Public Schools.

Citizens have been perplexed over the years as to why or how Wicomico's Board of Education has been controlled by the Superintendent (including administration). They don't only follow her orders, but implement her illegal and unethical practices without question or regard to school board policy or the law. In addition, she's managed to bully parents, manipulate and control the media, business leaders, citizens, teachers, administrators, vendors, municipalities, organizations, the State of Maryland, legislators, delegates and even senators. She has always spun the reality of poor academic performance, parent involvement, audit results and parent satisfaction, while portraying the school system as a wonderland of high approval ratings. How can this be?

It's a result of psychological manipulation if you care to read her 137-page thesis centered on Emotional Intelligence, which she compares to traditional research-based leadership practices. In her thesis she conducts a survey with principals and looks to find a correlation between the two, which the result is inconclusive in the end. What's important to note is her emphasis on an administrator's level of Emotional Intelligence and her belief on how it can result in successful school leadership. In order to do this, the administrator must possess Emotional Intelligence skills to control the school environment. Not to be mistaken with management and discernment, it involves manipulation of others to play off emotions. She explains how successful businesses and fortune 500 companies use Emotional Intelligence to grow their operations. Enviously touting the successes derived in the business world as a result of using Emotional Intelligence, it's ironically the exact methods used by professional snake oil salesmen and car dealerships to execute a sale.

"A focus on emotional intelligence should be encouraged as part of education reform; from university curriculum and coursework, to principal hiring practices, to professional development for aspiring and practicing principals. School principals equipped with emotional intelligence competencies will be much more effective in successfully leading meaningful school reform. Educators have been reluctant to embrace this notion in the midst of a standardized test-ridden and data-driven world; however, after decades of unsuccessful reform initiatives in the United States, isn’t it time for a paradigm shift? Aristotle reminds us, “Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy”. - Aristotle" - Dr. Donna Hanlin [1]

What is Emotional Intelligence?

  1. Intelligence regarding the emotions, especially in the ability to monitor one's own or others' emotions.

  2. The ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. [2]

The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence

An article from Psychology Today titled: "The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence"

explains that: "The problem is that EQ is "morally neutral." It can be used to help, protect, and promote oneself and others, or it can be used to promote oneself at the cost of others. In its extreme form, EQ is sheer Machiavellianismthe art of socially manipulating others in order to achieve one's own selfish ends. When used in this way, other people become social tools to be used to push oneself forward even at considerable expense to them. Some people confuse Machiavellianism with psychopathy or even social impairment syndromes, such as Asperger Syndrome.

Here's a handy way to distinguish them:

  • An Asperger individual may not know that you're feeling.

  • A psychopath doesn't care what you're feeling.

  • A Machiavellian manipulates your feelings to achieve selfish ends." [3]

You can read her thesis on your own and draw your own conclusion. However, this behavior and practice of manipulating others has been repeatedly demonstrated since becoming the Superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools. Now we know exactly why.

Only school board members can hire and fire a superintendent. In 2020, the WCBOE unanimously voted to keep her in office for another term. Hopefully, they will read this thesis and realize that they've been played.

-Inspector General



[1] Dr. Donna C. Hanlin: The Relationship Between Research-Based Leadership Practices and Emotional Intelligence of High School Principals

[2] American Heritage Dictionary: Emotional Intelligence



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