Human Resources and DevelopmentAdministrator Opportunities → Principal

Principal (All Levels)

EXTERNAL Applicants Only

INTERNAL candidates can find information on the pre-qualified principal pool and principal internship process here.

Principal Selection Process

The Pre-Qualified Principal List application process is open December 2, 2019 through January 31, 2020.  All application materials including references are due no later than the application deadline of January 31, 2020.

Principal candidates are selected using a multi-phase process which carefully considers the applicant's background and readiness for a principalship.  This process involves the following:

  • Application to the Internal Pre-Qualified List posting
  • Initial paper screening of all the documents requested in the application process
  • Job-embedded tasks
  • Cross-office panel interview

If applicants successfully complete the items above, they will be entered on a list of pre-qualified principal candidates who are eligible to apply to specific principal vacancies.

Pre-qualified principal candidates who are selected to interview for specific school principal vacancies will participate in a community panel interview, and selected finalists will then interview with the superintendent.

Important:  Initial consideration for school-based vacancies will be based upon pre-qualified principal list eligibility.  Eligibility is valid for 3 years.

Eligible External Candidates Must Have

  • MSDE eligibility for Administrator I and II certification
  • At least 2 years of successful experience as an assistant principal
  • A thorough knowledge of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) policies and procedures, the Call to Action Plan, the Program of Studies, and state and federal regulations and laws
  • Thorough knowledge of curriculum, instruction, organizational patterns, school operations, and pupil services
  • Demonstrated competence in staff selection, training, supervision and evaluation
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills and demonstrated ability to act effectively under stress
  • Ability to motivate, encourage, and work with staff to ensure outstanding performance as well as good morale
  • Ability to articulate a vision for teaching and learning through leading the School Improvement Process (i.e. data review, root cause analysis, establishing an instructional focus, etc.)
  • Demonstrated ability to be a highly effective instructional leader through a commitment to equity and excellence for all students
  • Ability to lead an instructional program that promotes high expectations and access to rigorous and relevant learning
  • Demonstrated commitment to the instructional program through effective implementation of the professional growth systems with fidelity
  • Shown to be highly reflective on his/her practices
  • Some experience of union collaboration to address school needs
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills

Note:  Evidence to show the impact of the candidate's leadership in the above competencies must be referenced in the resume, interest letter, and reference.

Application Checklist 

  • Log on to MCPS Careers, apply to the Pre-Qualified Principal List posting, and attach all required documentation.
  • Include your current position in our MCPS Careers profile.
  • Include a letter of interest (two pages maximum) addressed to Mrs. Lance Dempsey, associate superintendent, Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD). 
    The letter must include evidence to support your proficiency in the bulleted competencies previously listed above and must provide the following information:    
    • An example of how your leadership has impacted student achievement
    • An example of how you have built teacher capacity that resulted in improved teaching and learning experiences for students
    • Data and concrete examples to support your claims
  • Upload an updated resume that outlines your strengths in the above competencies.  Data points used to support your leadership experience are required.  Include a list of 3 references in your resume.  The resume should not exceed two pages.
  • Upload 3 separate artifacts demonstrating the work you have led that is aligned to the competencies noted above.  These must be uploaded as PDF only.
  • Solicit a reference from your current supervisor.  Provide the list of competencies to the individual completing your reference, as he/she must specifically address the work you have done that is aligned to the core competencies and the impact of that work.  The reference letter must be submitted directly to from the individual writing the reference.


If you have questions about the application process, please contact Ms. Caitlin M. Moriarty, coordinator, OHRD, at 301-315-7390 or via e-mail at