- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Montgomery County Board of Education announced Monday it had unanimously chosen the head of the Stamford, Conn., schools system as its nominee to replace Superintendent Jerry D. Weast.

Joshua P. Starr is expected to take over the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on July 1, pending final employment negotiations and approval by the state schools superintendent. Officials said they plan a series of public meetings in the coming weeks to introduce Mr. Starr to stakeholders in the community.

Mr. Starr began his career as a special education teacher in 1993 in the New York City Public Schools working with severely emotionally disturbed adolescents. He served as director of school performance and accountability in the New York City Department of Education before working six years in Stamford — a system of 20 schools and more than 15,000 students, according to its website. He has also served in administrative roles in Plainfield, N.J., and Freeport, N.Y. He holds a doctorate degree in administration and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“The contexts of Stamford and Montgomery County are very similar and I look forward to working with the board, staff and community to build on the great strengths of MCPS,” Mr. Starr said in a statement. “Montgomery County has shown the nation that it is possible to raise academic standards and enable all children to achieve them. By engendering a culture that rests in the belief that all children have unlimited potential, ensuring a systematic focus on great instruction, and establishing processes and structures that support adult learning and development, MCPS has changed the conversation of what is possible in urban public education.”

Mr. Starr replaces Mr. Weast, who is retiring after 12 years at the helm of the 144,000-student school system, the largest in the state and the 16th largest in the nation.

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