Montgomery County Public Schools

MCPS announces nominee for new superintendent

A committee of citizens and Board of Education members selected Thomas Taylor, the superintendent for Stafford County and a former MCPS student

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After a nationwide search, the Montgomery County Board of Education announced its nomination for its new superintendent, Thomas Taylor, the current superintendent of Stafford County Public Schools.

The announcement falls at a time when the school system is coming off of controversy and headed for a tough fiscal future.

“I'm not here to bring a wrecking ball to anything, but rather to preserve that which is working and enhance those areas that need improvement,” Taylor said.

The committee that chose him was made up of school board members and citizens.

“Our highest priority is the success and well-being of our students,” said Karla Silvestre, President of the Board of Education.

Taylor is poised to replace former superintendent Monifa McKnight. She was asked to step down in February following her promotion of a principal who had faced allegations of abuse and harassment at a county middle school.

“The culture that I'd like to create at MCPS is one of support, safety, mutual trust, mutual respect and innovation,” Taylor said.

His nomination comes amid serious budget cuts at MCPS, a freeze on the hiring of new teachers and the end of programs such as the virtual academy.

“Because I cannot go back into in-person because of some issues, but I'm a little worried about the other 800 students, and more on the waiting list,” said Austin Tucker, a student who was enrolled in that academy.

He said the superintendent nominee is the only school official who has responded to his personal entreaties about its closure.

“It's certainly something I'm interested in digging in and learning more about,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he realizes the tough fiscal challenges facing the county, and he’s eager to dig in on the issues.

“I don’t want to minimize some of the challenges this community is facing, but I also thought it was important to hear Austin from his perspective, to know what he was experiencing and what he was passionate about,” he said.

Taylor said he is eager for the chance to work with the Montgomery County schools. He was a student there, from kindergarten to the 12th grade.

“I’m so excited to be a part of this school system in a different capacity than as a student and to be back home is just great.”

The Montgomery County School Board is expected to vote on this nomination on June 25. Stafford County public schools will begin an immediate search for a new superintendent.

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