The Montgomery County (Md.) School Board has chosen Maryland's interim state school superintendent to be the district's top administrator.
Jack R. Smith, who also has served as superintendent in the Calvert County (Md.) school district, received the unanimous approval of the board. He is expected to assume the Montgomery County superintendent's job on July 1, but first must receive state approval, negotiate a contract and take part in public hearings with the community.
"The board is excited about working with Dr. Smith as the next superintendent of schools," says Board President Michael Durso. "He comes to us with extensive experience in K–12 education and new insights on delivering instruction in today’s classroom.”
In a news release, the Montgomery County district cited Smith's experience leading the Maryland State Department of Education’s Office of Teaching and Learning, and more than three decades of work as a teacher and school and central office administrator.
Video from MCPS-TV: Smith discusses his appointment as Montgomery County superintendent:
"His particular strengths include supporting effective instructional programs, budgeting, systems thinking, return on investment analysis, and efficiency and effectiveness in operations," the district said. "...Dr. Smith has earned a reputation for encouraging and helping school-based staff to learn and use innovative strategies to promote the success of children in the classroom."
The 156,000-student district in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., has been without a permanent superintendent for a year; Joshua Starr, who had led Montgomery County schools since 2011, resigned in February 2015.
A few months later, the board had identified an administrator in the Houston district, Andrew Houlihan, as the top contender to replace Starr, but Houlihan subsequently withdrew himself from consideration, and the district has to reboot its superintendent search.