Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser. Date: February 3, 2015

A Message from Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill

Moving Forward

Patricia O'Neill

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you about changes in the leadership of Montgomery County Public Schools and how we are moving forward.

Earlier today, the Montgomery County Board of Education and Superintendent Joshua P. Starr reached a mutual agreement that was approved unanimously by the Board. As a result of this agreement, Dr. Starr will not receive a new four-year contract, and he asked to be released from his current contract on February 16, 2015. The Board has recommended that Mr. Larry A. Bowers, our chief operating officer, serve as interim superintendent while the Board conducts a national search for a new leader.  Mr. Bowers’ appointment is subject to approval by Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery.

The Board appreciates Dr. Starr’s work over the past three-and-a-half years as superintendent. He is a thoughtful, intelligent leader, and we wish him, and his family, nothing but the best in the future.

I know these types of transitions can be unsettling and create concerns about what the future holds for our district. But my Board colleagues and I want to be clear:  MCPS is an excellent district with an outstanding staff and strong community support and we are committed to upholding that tradition. Overall, our students are performing very well and that is due, in great part, to the excellent work our employees do every day.

As our district grows and the needs of our students increase, there are areas that we must address if we are going to continue to be a high-performing system that prepares all students for success in the 21st century. The Board is committed to finding a superintendent who can continue the progress we have made together and prepare our students for even greater success in the future. MCPS employees will have an opportunity to have their voices heard as part of the search process, which will begin in the coming weeks with the hiring of an outside firm to guide us in this work.

We believe that Mr. Bowers is well-suited to lead the district in this time of transition. As a 37-year veteran of MCPS, he understands our culture, our strengths, and our needs and will ensure that MCPS operates smoothly as we prepare for a new leader. The Board and I are confident that Mr. Bowers, who has been our chief operating officer for the past 16 years, will provide steady guidance and leadership in the coming months.

Most importantly, the Board, and our community as a whole, has tremendous confidence in the teachers, administrators, and support professionals of MCPS. We know that, even in a time of transition, you will remain focused on meeting the needs of our students and families. You and your colleagues are what make MCPS a great system, and that doesn't change.

We will keep you informed about our search for a new superintendent and how you can participate in the process.

Thank you for all you do every day for our students, our families, and our community.


Patricia B. O'Neill, president
Montgomery County Board of Education