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Michael Edward Hickey

May 30, 1938 ~ August 28, 2022 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Michael E. Hickey of Columbia, Maryland, died on August 28, 2022, at age 84.  Born 1938 in Iron Mountain, Michigan, his family moved to Walla Walla, Washington, in 1942 where he grew up.  He was an Eagle Scout who joined the Marines following high school graduation. Following his honorable discharge from the Corps he completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington, taught high school English for two years and then returned to the U of W, completing his master’s and then Ph.D. with highest honors in 1969. He was then recruited to work as the Special Assistant to the Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools where he led the team that successfully desegregated the schools voluntarily and, at the age of 34, he was named the system’s Deputy Superintendent.

He served as Superintendent of St. Louis Park Schools in Minnesota from 1976 to 1984, leaving that position to become Superintendent of the Howard County Public School System in Maryland where he served for 16 years until June 30, 2000.  His career in education took a new course when he retired from the county position and joined the faculty of Towson University the very next day as a Professor and Director of the Center for Leadership in Education until his retirement in 2018.  He was considered one of the foremost national authorities in public education leadership, and he devoted many years to helping to improve underserved populations and inner-city school systems.

Michael was an avid bicyclist, who enjoyed traveling with his beloved wife of 38 years, Nichole Hickey.  For many years he volunteered at the Columbia Festival of the Arts, where Nichole was the Executive Director.  He also loved Washington Husky football, Walla Walla wines, spending time with his grandsons, and outdoor grilling on the weekends with Nichole on their deck overlooking the pond in their backyard.

He is survived by Nichole, his three children Michael E. Hickey Jr. (Denney), Kevin P. Hickey (Jodi), and Sean T. Hickey, and three grandsons, Kellen R. Hickey (Lindsay), Jack P. Hickey and Luke J. Hickey.  He is also survived by his brother Patrick Hickey (Frances) and sister Mary Hunt.  Predeceased in death by his son, Timothy F. Hickey and sister, Kathleen Hickey.  Memorials in lieu of flowers to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation.

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Celebration of Life
September 15, 2022

4:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Jim Rouse Theatre and Performing Arts Center at Wilde Lake High School;
5460 Trumpeter Rd
Columbia, MD 21044



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