Principal (All Levels)

Principal Selection Process

The Pre-Qualified Principal and/or Principal Intern application process has re-opened and will remain open through May 27, 2020.  All application materials including references are due no later than the application deadline of May 27, 2020.  Sitting or veteran MCPS principals may apply directly to principal vacancies.  They DO NOT need to apply to the Pre-Qualified Principal List posting.

MCPS employees who are NOT current or veteran principals may apply to the Pre-qualified principal list, to become a Principal Intern, or BOTH. In all cases, the application process involves the following:

  • Application to the posting
  • Initial paper screening of all the documents requested in the application process
  • Job-embedded tasks
  • Cross-office panel interviews
Non-MCPS employees who ARE current exemplary principals with a minimum of three years’ experience may be considered for current principal vacancies, given all references affirm the candidates’ superior qualifications. 

Be sure to include your current and prior supervisors’ names and cellphone numbers to facilitate our contact process. Be sure to include your current and prior supervisors’ names and cellphone numbers to facilitate contact with them.

If INTERNAL applicants successfully complete the application process, they will be entered on one of three lists; pre-qualified principal candidates, interns for Fall 2021, or BOTH.

If EXTERNAL applicants successfully complete the application process, they will be be placed on the list of pre-qualified principal candidates.

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.

                                                     Aspiring Principals


Important:  Eligibility is valid for 3 years.

Eligible Candidates Must Have

  • MSDE eligibility for Administrator I 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
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal 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 and/or Principal Intern posting, and attach all required documentation.
  • Include your current position in your 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 necessary proficiency in the bulleted competencies previously listed, 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 core 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 competencies and the impact of that work.  The reference letter must be submitted directly to from the individual writing the reference.


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