Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

May 3, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

On Teacher Appreciation Day, and during Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to thank all of the educators and staff who work tirelessly every day for our students.

As I have said before, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is a great school system because of our great people, like you. A former superintendent in California, Colleen Wilcox, once said,  “Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.” Your optimism shines through in how you serve our students from the moment they enter school until they walk across the stage at graduation. Your optimism is evident in the relationships you intentionally cultivate and carefully sustain; the lessons you plan and expertly deliver; and the numerous other roles you take on in our community. Our teachers are lucky to be supported in these efforts by administrators who provide strong leadership and encouragement and support professionals who serve as the backbone of our school district. 

All of our teachers are champions for children. Last week, we had a special opportunity to celebrate our three recent finalists for Teacher of the Year: Irma Najarro, a dual-language fourth-grade teacher at Washington Grove Elementary School; Michael Edwards, world studies and global humanities sixth-grade teacher at Julius West Middle School; and Johnathan Dunn, a choral teacher at Sherwood High School, who was named the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year. I want to once again congratulate them for serving as excellent examples of the important work we all do to ensure the best outcomes for our students.

We are all in this together and must continue to focus on developing the skills and knowledge our students will need for success, including academics, creative problem-solving skills and social-emotional competencies. This is a long-term, multi-year commitment we make as educators to help the county’s children to be ready for college, career and the community. I know  we have the right people in place to meet the challenges of the future and help bring our district to even greater heights. 

My commitment to you and our community is represented in my current priorities for the coming year.

  • Building and rebuilding trust; 

  • Supporting mental health and well-being; and

  • Returning the district’s focus to equitable teaching and learning.

This is work that I am committed to doing together with you as we put our students first in all that we do.

Thank you for your commitment to our students and our community. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!


Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent of Schools 

Email us: ASKMCPS@mcpsmd.org

Montgomery County Public Schools