Superintendent Jack R. Smith Announces Retirement
I write to you with very mixed emotions today. After much consideration, I have shared with the Board of Education that I will be retiring as superintendent of schools this spring. I have tentatively set my retirement date as June 1, 2021.
As I have shared with some of you, my two-year old grandson had significant open heart surgery in May 2019 to reconstruct his malformed heart. While the surgery was successful, my wife, Gayle, relocated to Maine to help my daughter and son-in-law care for him. Her stay in Maine to support our grandson was extended with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given his health needs, our family’s circumstances are not going to change for at least the next few years. I need to join Gayle in Maine as I find I can no longer tolerate living most of the time separately.
I have loved my time in Montgomery County Public Schools and have no desire to leave. The staff in the school system is among the most talented and dedicated in this country. The work we have done together around the equity accountability framework, the allocation of resources, student well-being, upgrades to current technology, our expansion of pre-K and language programs are among a host of system improvements that I am so happy to have been involved with.
I will greatly miss being a part of this organization. The 17 school board members I have worked with here have been committed, dedicated professionals, and they consistently have made decisions with the best interest of students in mind, as well as a very real desire to maintain the excellence of the system, while increasing the access and opportunity to provide a truly equitable experience for every child we serve.
I’ve truly been fortunate to work with these school board members, the staff, our elected officials and the community in Montgomery County.
I am confident that MCPS will continue to do great work on behalf of our 160,000 students—it always has. I am also confident that working together, we can and will implement a comprehensive recovery of education plan that will get students back in school buildings and address the significant learning loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a wonderful community, a strong public school system and a great place to live. I wish only the very best for Montgomery County Public Schools going forward.
Dr. Jack R. Smith