PHOTO | Courtesy of MCPS

Former MCPS Superintendent Dies at 83 (VIDEO)

Paul Vance, a former Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent, died May 2 at the age of 83.

The longtime Maryland educator, a Montgomery County resident, was with MCPS for more than 20 years. He served as the county school superintendent from 1991 to 1999.

Montgomery County Council George Leventhal said Vance understood the needs of every segment of our community.

According to school officials, he was the first MCPS African-American superintendent and upon retirement Vance became superintendent for D.C. Public Schools from 2003 until 2006.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said he was greatly saddened by the passing of a friend and colleague, and as a member of the Council Education Committee, Leggett worked closely with Vance during the educator’s time as MCPS Superintendent.

“Education has lost a real champion, a trailblazer. He believed in access to a quality education for all and for the excellence that would allow each and every child the opportunity to realize his or her full potential. His example lives on in the thousands of lives he touched. We will never forget Paul,” Leggett said.

PHOTO | Courtesy of MCPS

PHOTO | Courtesy of MCPS

According to his biography at the Montgomery County Public School’s Educational Foundation website, from 1968 to 1972, Vance served as principal of the Clarence E. Pickett Middle School in Philadelphia, and also served as a social studies/science specialist in Philadelphia.

Montgomery County Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill released the following statement on Monday:

“My Board of Education colleagues and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Paul L. Vance. We are grateful for his work as an educator, administrator, and community leader and the impact he had on generations of children in Montgomery County and throughout the region.

From 1991 to 1999, Dr. Vance guided Montgomery County Public Schools through a tremendous period of change. Throughout his tenure, he remained focused on setting high expectations for all students while working to meet their individual needs and interests. Even after his retirement, he continued to work on behalf of students and families as a community leader, including serving as president of the Montgomery County NAACP and a member of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

Dr. Vance’s work in Montgomery County, Washington, D.C., and many other communities had a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and his legacy lives on in their success and achievement. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Vance’s family as they celebrate his life, his work, and his commitment to making the future better for our children.”


Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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