Superintendent Starr Holds First Student Town Hall, Continues Meetings with Community, Staff

October 14, 2011
Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr continues to meet and engage the staff and community of Montgomery County Public Schools in a variety of ways.

On Wednesday, Dr. Starr held his first Student Town Hall in the Black Box Theater at James Hubert Blake High School. The town hall included questions from an audience of about 100 Blake students, as well as questions submitted in advance by email and Twitter.

“The town hall was a great way to hear directly from students about the issues that are foremost on their minds,” Dr. Starr said. “The students asked very insightful, challenging questions, which will help me gain a deeper understanding of our successes and challenges as a school district.”

The Student Town Hall, hosted by Alan Xie, the student member of the Board of Education, was broadcast live on Channel 34 and shown on the web. Video of the event is posted on A second Student Town Hall will be held  November 9, from 10:53 a.m. to 11:33 a.m., at Quince Orchard High School.

“I know that the students of MCPS sincerely appreciate Dr. Starr’s efforts to hear their voices and answer their questions,” said Mr. Xie, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School. “I encourage my peers to participate in the next town hall and to continue to share their thoughts with our new superintendent.”

Listen and Learn Events

Since early September, Dr. Starr has been holding Listen and Learn events with staff and the community at schools around Montgomery County. Nearly 500 people have attended community Listen and Learn events at Northwest, Springbrook, Einstein and Watkins Mill high schools. Staff Listen and Learn events have been held at the same schools and have been attended by 300 MCPS employees.

“I am grateful that so many people have turned out to candidly share their ideas, thoughts and concerns. It’s clear that Montgomery County has a very involved, engaged community that cares deeply about its school system,” said Dr. Starr.

Upcoming Community Listen and Learn Events (7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

·  Tuesday, October 18, Long Branch Community Center
·  Wednesday, October 19 (rescheduled from Sept. 8), Thomas S. Wootton High School 
·  Tuesday, November 1, Damascus High School
·  Monday, November 7, Wheaton High School
·  Wednesday, November 16 (rescheduled from Oct. 10), 7:30–9 p.m., Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School 
·  Monday, November 21, Sherwood High School

Upcoming Staff Listen and Learn Events

·  Wednesday, October 19 (rescheduled from Sept. 8), 4:30 p.m.–6 p.m., Thomas S. Wootton High School
·  Wednesday, November 16 (rescheduled from Oct. 10), 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m., Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School 
·  Monday, November 28 (new event), 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Carver Educational Services Center

Superintendent’s Book Club

Dr. Starr is also inviting the community to participate in three book club events during the school year.

“The book clubs will provide a less formal opportunity for me to engage the community, discuss education and share some of my educational philosophy,” Dr. Starr said.

The first Superintendent’s Book Club event will be held on Tuesday, November 29. Dr. Starr has chosen
“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Dr. Carol S. Dweck as the first book. The book is available at libraries and bookstores, as well as online. More information about this event will be available in the coming weeks.

Learn more about the book at

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