Dear Friend of MCPS,
Today, Education Week released its annual "Diplomas Count" report and I am thrilled that, once again, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has the highest graduation rate among the nation's 50 largest school districts. This is the third year in a row that MCPS has been at the top of this list and in this year's report, the MCPS graduation rate increased to 85.7 percent.
While I am excited and proud of these results, I am not surprised. Montgomery County Public Schools has the best staff in the nation—bar none—and has unwavering support from our community. Even during these difficult economic times, education has remained a high priority and our staff has remained focused on the needs of our students. The results speak for themselves.
As I prepare to retire in a few weeks, I want to thank you for your support of our students and staff. Over the past 12 years, we have been through a tremendous amount together. We went through the tragedy of 9/11 and the horror of the sniper shootings. We experienced dramatic shifts in our student population and are still weathering the impact of the Great Recession. We have celebrated numerous victories and endured a few defeats.
But through all of that, we have kept the focus on the needs of our students. As a result, our students are better prepared for college and the workplace than students in any other large school district in the country. More students are succeeding in Advanced Placement classes, on the SAT and on numerous other measures. Most importantly, we have demonstrated for the world that every child can succeed if you build a culture of high expectations. Today's "Diplomas Count" report is simply the latest testament to the high level of engagement of MCPS staff and students.
Over the past several months, I have been honored to receive several awards and I have heard kind words about my tenure at MCPS. While I am grateful for the recognition, I make it clear wherever I go that I have been the manager of the greatest team in America and that any success attributed to me or to the school system has been the result of the effort, excellence and dedication of our staff and our community's commitment to excellence in education.
It has been an incredible honor to be a part of this school district for the past 12 years. Over my 42 years in education, I have made stops in many different locations—Kansas to South Dakota, Montana to North Carolina—but Montgomery County will always feel like home to me.
I wish you and your family a safe and relaxing summer and much success in the future.
Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools