TOWSON, MD. (WJZ) — In a closely guarded secret, the Board of Education of Baltimore County has voted for a new superintendent of schools.

Dr. Darryl Williams will start as superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools effective July 1.

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Some people said they felt blindsided because the vote was so secretive.

Members of the Teachers Union said they only found out through rumors and had just minutes to show up to witness the vote.

“The public needs to be aware of what just went down,” said Sharon Saroff, who calls herself a school advocate.

Saroff said she was dumbfounded very few people knew about the vote before it happened.

“I’m very angry. I voted for some of these people, I campaigned for some of these people. Some of these people are my friends and yes I am very angry,” Saroff said.

President of the Teachers Association Abbey Beytin said she didn’t even know about the vote until minutes before.

“I wasn’t supposed to know 10 minutes before. I wasn’t supposed to know at all until they made the announcement,” Beytin said. “We will voice again the problem of you really want to be an open and transparent board, you need to be open and transparent.”

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The county said after a nationwide search, they found Dr. Williams- and he’s not coming from too far away- he’s currently an associate superintendent in Montgomery County, one of the two districts in Maryland that’s bigger than Baltimore County.

Dr. Williams said he was honored and that he “will focus on the needs of our students and staff and work to maintain a positive and effective learning environment for all,”

He is set to take over from Verletta White, the interim superintendent who received board approval twice but was ultimately rejected by the state superintendent after revelations she did not report outside income. She was never charged with a crime.

White issued a statement following the vote.

“Serving the children of Baltimore County has been the greatest honor of my professional life. I am grateful to have worked with dedicated educators, staff, and community members for the past 24 years. While I am disappointed in the Board’s final decision, I am appreciative of their consideration.

I would like to congratulate Dr. Darryl L. Williams on his appointment. In the coming months, I will work closely with him to ensure a smooth transition and to continue supporting the school system that I love so dearly.”

Many want the board to answer why this process was so private.

“The decision is made so of course for us, we want for this person to be really great and really work well and we will work and do everything we can to make sure that he is successful. I just hope for the future that it looks very different from this kind of process.” Beytin said.

Williams still needs approval from the state superintendent.

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This story is developing. 

Ava-joye Burnett