Board of Education Unanimously Approves Four-Year Contract
The Montgomery County Board of Education officially appointed Dr. Jack Smith as superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and approved his employment contract on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Dr. Smith, who has been serving as interim state superintendent of schools since September 2015, will begin his tenure in Montgomery County on July 1, 2016. He succeeds Mr. Larry A. Bowers, who has served as interim superintendent since February 2015 and plans to retire on June 30, 2016.
“Jack Smith is an exceptionally skilled leader who will build on our district’s legacy of excellence, and help us ensure that we have a school system where every child has the opportunity to succeed,” said Michael A. Durso, president of the Board of Education. “Dr. Smith brings tremendous expertise both at the district and state level with him to Montgomery County. These experiences will help him jump right in as we work together to give every student the best possible education.”
“We are grateful for Mr. Bowers’ excellent stewardship of the district for the past year as our interim superintendent, and his more than 38 years of outstanding service to the children of this community,” said Mr. Durso. “We wish him a happy and relaxing retirement this summer. He certainly has earned it.”
The Board conditionally appointed Dr. Smith as superintendent on February 4, 2016, pending agreement on terms of an employment contract and approval by the state superintendent of schools, as required by Maryland law. Given Dr. Smith’s current position, the Maryland State Board of Education appointed Dr. Karen Salmon on February 23, 2016, as acting interim state superintendent of schools for the purposes of approving Dr. Smith’s appointment to the Montgomery County position. Dr. Salmon sent a letter to Mr. Durso on March 7, 2016, approving Dr. Smith’s appointment as MCPS superintendent of schools. The Board and Dr. Smith completed negotiations on the terms of a four-year employment contract on Monday.
“I am looking forward to joining the Montgomery County community as superintendent of schools this summer and working with the outstanding students, parents, staff, and community leaders to make this excellent school system even better,” said Dr. Smith. “Our community rightly expects that we will give every child a first-class education, and that is what we are committed to doing. We want every child to graduate with a world of options and choices before them.”
Under the terms of the four-year contract, Dr. Smith will earn a salary of $275,000 per year, and also will receive $40,000 in deferred compensation, as well as a contribution of $19,875 toward his retirement plan. Dr. Smith also will receive other benefits, including health, disability, and life insurance; moving expenses; and the use of a vehicle.
Dr. Smith’s Biography
Dr. Jack R. Smith was appointed interim state superintendent of schools and treasurer of the Maryland State Board of Education on September 14, 2015. A dedicated lifelong educator, Dr. Smith has been a classroom teacher, administrator, principal, and a local superintendent of schools.
Dr. Smith joined the Maryland State Department of Education as the chief academic officer for the Office of Teaching and Learning in August 2013. As the chief academic officer, Dr. Smith worked closely with local school systems, parents, businesses, teacher associations, institutes of higher education, and government agencies at both the state and national level to ensure high-quality teaching and learning takes place in Maryland public schools. Dr. Smith’s steadfast goal has always been to provide all students, regardless of their learning needs, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, with options and choices upon graduation.
Dr. Smith’s distinguished career in education began as a teacher at Hanford Secondary School in Richland, Washington. Later, he served three years as a middle and high school assistant principal for the school system and another four years as a principal, where he used his extensive experience in encouraging and helping teachers to learn and use effective, purposeful instructional strategies. In August of 1992, Dr. Smith and his family relocated to Tokyo, Japan where he had the privilege to serve as the principal of the Christian Academy in Japan, in Higashi Kurume, Tokyo. The Christian Academy educates children from kindergarten through 12th grade, and it provides an American-style education in English. The school has an exceedingly distinct student population, with students coming from more than 25 countries across the globe.
Upon his return to the United States in 1998, Dr. Smith became a middle school principal in Calvert County, Maryland. He spent four years at the helm of a middle school, taking a one year leave of absence to facilitate the launching of a boarding school in Thailand. Dr. Smith was named director of curriculum and instruction for Calvert County Public Schools in July 2002, followed by deputy superintendent of schools the subsequent year. Calvert County Public Schools chose him as its superintendent of schools in 2006, and he served as the county’s superintendent for seven successful years.
Among Dr. Smith’s many illustrious awards and honors, he was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year in 2013 and he received the 2010 Charge Agent Award from the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of College and Career Readiness. Dr. Smith is a member of Leadership Maryland’s Class of 2011, and he has served on a variety of volunteer boards. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, with a bachelor’s in English and Communications and a master’s in School Administration, Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in instructional leadership from Notre Dame of Maryland University.