MCPS Board of Education

Board of Education Launches National Search for New Superintendent

Dr. Starr's resignation is effective Feb. 16.

Dr. Starr’s resignation is effective Feb. 16.

The Montgomery County Board of Education officially launched the search for a new superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on Tuesday, Feb. 10 with the hiring of an outside executive search firm.

The Board approved a contract with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) to coordinate efforts to find a new superintendent for MCPS by July 1, 2015. HYA will be paid $35,000 for their services, plus the cost of any reasonable expenses.

HYA assisted with the last two superintendent searches for MCPS in 1999 and 2011. HYA also has assisted in searches for 14 of the nation’s 25 largest school districts and several area school systems, including Baltimore, Fairfax, and Loudon counties, as well as the Maryland State Board of Education. Since its founding more than 20 years ago, HYA has assisted more than 1,000 school boards with executive searches.

“Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates has the knowledge, experience, and expertise to help us conduct this search as quickly and comprehensively as possible,” said Patricia O’Neill, president of the Board. “They are familiar with our community and I am confident that they will help us find an excellent leader for the district.”

“Our vision is to inspire learning by providing the greatest public education to each and every student,” O’Neill said. “We look forward to working with our staff, students, and community to find the best superintendent who can help us achieve that vision.”

School Board President Patricia O’Neill said in 2011 the school system put out a request for proposal when looking for a search firm, a process that took about five months to complete. Five board members were present for that RFP process, she said.

Board Member Chris Barclay said he didn’t believe the school system should waste any time in starting the search.

“Because of our actions we put ourselves in a place where we have a short window. We can’t do things slowly,” he said.

O’Neill said the school system will maintain a website with updates of the search. The search will include opportunities for community members to share the characteristics and expertise they would like to see in the next superintendent through community forums, focus groups, and an online survey, according to a release from the school system.

HYA will assist the Board in developing a job description and will ensure candidates are recruited through many different national networks. In the coming weeks, the Board will launch a superintendent search website to share more information about the search.

Dr. Joshua Starr will end his tenure as MCPS superintendent on February 16. The Board has appointed MCPS Chief Operating Officer Larry A. Bowers to serve as interim superintendent until a new leader for the district is in place.

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