MONTGOMERY Co, Md. - After a yearlong search, Montgomery County Public Schools has finally named their next superintendent. The school board voted unanimously to appoint Jack Smith for the position Thursday night.
It has been exactly a year since the school system parted ways with former superintendent Joshua Starr. But after a long and somewhat secretive process, Smith will fill the seat on a conditional basis.
A series of public meetings will begin soon so Smith can meet parents and teachers prior to him taking over the job in July.
Dr. Smith has a wealth of experience. He is currently Maryland’s interim state superintendent of schools. He assumed the position after the former superintendent left for a job in Ohio.
Smith also served as the superintendent in Calvert County in Maryland for seven years. He was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year in 2013.
Monntgomery County Public Schools has a good reputation in the area, but Smith said there are still educational disparities that need to be worked on.
“You don't have to be sick to get better,” he said. “Montgomery County is a strong, healthy, vibrant school system. But there are areas we can improve like in the disparities that exist, like moving more kids to rigorous programming so all kids get a shot at whatever it is they want to do in life. That is all about the process of looking at everything, thinking about it and then working on it.”
This has been a long and arduous process. Last year, the Montgomery County Board of Education decided on hiring a new superintendent from Houston only to have to that candidate pull out at the last minute.
Montgomery County Public Schools said they interviewed eleven candidates and reviewed applications of more than 70 candidates before deciding on Smith.
"Since the inception of the search for a new superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools, the Board has met with several very impressive candidates from all over the nation", said school board president Michael Durso. "After a rigorous process, the Board is excited about working with Dr. Smith as the next superintendent of schools. He comes to us with extensive experience in K-12 education, and new insights on delivering instruction in today's classroom."
Based on community feedback, contract negotiations and state approval, Smith is expected to start July 1.