An Update on the Superintendent Search
By Patricia O’Neill, Board President
The search for a new superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is continuing and I want to thank everyone who provided input regarding the characteristics and priorities they would like to see in the next leader of our school district.
In February and March, the Montgomery County Board of Education received feedback from nearly 1,000 people through community meetings, focus groups, and online surveys. That community input was captured by our search firm—Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA)—and has been included in a Leadership Profile Report that is available on our Superintendent Search website. The Board also has put together a one-page summary of desired characteristics that will, essentially, be used as a job description for interested candidates.
We are in the process of receiving applications from people who are interested in leading this great school district. With HYA’s help, we will cull those applications down to a group of finalists who we will interview. In my role as president of the Board, I will convene a community panel with representatives from several organizations that will be involved in interviewing the final candidates. The representatives will be drawn from the following groups:
- Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils;
- The Montgomery County Education Association;
- The Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals;
- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500;
- The Montgomery County Council of PTAs;
- The Special Education Advisory Committee;
- The Gifted and Talented Association of Montgomery County;
- Identity Inc.;
- NAACP – Montgomery County, Maryland Branch;
- The League of Educators for Asian American Progress;
- The Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education;
- Montgomery College;
- The Universities at Shady Grove;
- The Latino Student Achievement Action Group;
- The African American Student Achievement Action Group;
- The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services; and
- The Montgomery County Recreation Department.
The feedback from the representatives of these groups, combined with the information in the Leadership Profile Report, will be invaluable as I lead our Board in this very important decision-making process.
The participation of these community representatives will be strictly confidential and participants will be asked not to share the identity of candidates who were interviewed. I know there has been a lot of interest in opportunities for the entire community to be involved in reviewing and meeting finalists for the superintendency. However, in convening this panel, I am trying to strike a balance between involving the community and making sure that we can have the best pool of candidates possible. Some people simply will not apply if their current positions will be jeopardized, which could happen if it becomes public they are a candidate for another job. We have seen this happen in other school districts and government organizations, and we believe that confidentiality is important as we conduct this search.
I will continue to keep our community updated on the progress of our search and look forward to having our next superintendent in place on July 1. To stay up to date on the process, please visit our Superintendent Search website.