Montgomery County Public Schools announces new superintendent

Montgomery County school board leaders have announced their selection for the next superintendent.

Dr. Thomas Taylor is expected to be officially appointed as the next superintendent for Maryland’s largest school district. His announcement was made Monday afternoon at the Board of Education.

Karla Silverstre, president of Montgomery County school board, did not disclose how many candidates were interviewed for the job. However, she pointed to Taylor’s experience in education and background in finance that stood out.

Taylor, who was raised and educated in Montgomery County, has more than 25 years of experience education and 12 years in district level leadership. He has spent six years as a superintendent and currently serves as superintendent of Stafford County Public Schools.

He said he wants to build on Montgomery County Public Schools’ academic reputation.

READ MORE: MCPS superintendent under fire: What led to the battle between the school board and Dr. Monifa McKnight

"As proud as we are of this accomplishment, unfortunately, that legacy and excellence also comes with a history of inequity. The experience of some students in Gaithersburg is wildly different than the experience of some students in Potomac. This is something that is real. We have to name it and we have to confront it together," he said Monday.

The selection of Thomas comes roughly four months after the departure of Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight when the school system came under scrutiny for its handling of the sexual harassment claims against now former principal Joel Beidleman.

Trust from the public will require transparency and accountability from the district, Taylor said.

"I can promise everyone that there will be moments where things won’t go well, but there will be a much more disproportionate number of things that will go great. Holding those things in balance will be a part of how we build trust," he said.

Byron Johns, Montgomery County’s NAACP Education Chair, said he was hopeful in this final candidate. He adds, one of the main priorities that need to be taken seriously is the investment of literacy and math programs.

"Our test scores…that’s a major uncertainty, not being up to par. We struggled with a number of schools, particularly with Black and brown students but across the board, all students are not as proficient in grade level as we would hope," Johns said.

The school board will officially vote on the appointment on June 25. A majority vote is needed to make the appointment official.