Dr. Monique Felder brings 32 years of experience in public education to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).
She started her long and distinguished educational career in Maryland after graduating from York College, City University of New York, with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education specializing in early childhood education.
During her initial 15 years at MCPS, Dr. Felder served as a classroom teacher at Poolesville Elementary School and Cedar Grove Elementary School, assistant principal at Beall Elementary School, and principal at Watkins Mill Elementary School. She served as the Director and Supervisor of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction and the Director of the Interventions Network for MCPS for seven years before moving to Prince George’s County Public Schools (MD) in 2014 as the Executive Director for Teaching and Learning.
While with MCPS, she was recognized with the International Reading Association’s Award for Exemplary Reading Programs in Maryland and as a finalist for the Washington Post’s Outstanding Leadership Award.
In 2016, Dr. Felder was recruited to serve as the Chief Academic Officer for Metro Nashville Public Schools (TN), where she leveraged her leadership skills and instructional expertise to outpace the state in literacy achievement, raise SAT scores, and decrease suspensions. During her tenure, there was also an increase in the number of students graduating with an associate’s degree or certificate and an increase in graduation rates for all students while significantly improving graduation rates for traditionally underserved students.
In 2019, she was appointed superintendent of Orange County Schools in North Carolina. During her tenure, she was unanimously nominated as the regional superintendent of the year by the Board and staff for work that included boosting academic achievement.
During her tenure, she improved academic achievement with more schools exceeding growth towards proficiency than any other district in the state in SY 2021-22. The percentage of Black and Latino students taking advanced-level courses increased by almost 50% in two years; the number of students earning an industry-recognized certification increased by 40%; the 4-year cohort graduation rate increased and exceeded state rates; students’ social-emotional wellness and sense of belonging and teacher working conditions data improved; the engagement of diverse stakeholder groups increased; and she developed the district’s new fully-fledged five-year strategic plan.
Throughout her career, Dr. Felder has been selected to serve on several boards, task forces, work groups, and committees, including the Maryland State Subcommittee on the Education of Young Children, the Mayor of Nashville’s Blueprint for Early Childhood Success Steering Committee, the Board for Leading Now - a national organization serving superintendents; and Orange Partnership for Young Children.
In all of her roles, Dr. Felder has sought to raise levels of expectation for all students and staff and engage all stakeholders to ensure that students’ innate potential and innate gifts are identified, valued, and maximized so students graduate fully prepared to succeed in both college and the workforce and become productive members of society.
Dr. Felder holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from York College (NY), a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University (MD) with a specialization in elementary science and mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA), where she studied the effective leadership behaviors and practices of principals in elementary schools serving predominantly students of color.
She has also pursued post-doctoral studies at McDaniel College, earning an advanced certificate in Equity and Excellence in Education, and is co-author of the book Increasing Diversity in Gifted Education: Research-Based Strategies for Identification and Program Services. In 2022, she was selected as a collaborating author of STEM Century: It Takes a Village to Raise a 21st Century Graduate, with a chapter entitled: “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See: Increasing Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Diversity in STEM-Careers.”