Superintendent Jack R. Smith Announces Retirement

January 14, 2021

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Smith has announced that he will retire from MCPS effective June 1, 2021.

Dr. Smith came to MCPS in July 2016 after serving as the interim Maryland state superintendent of schools. A dedicated lifelong educator, Dr. Smith has been a classroom teacher, principal, curriculum director and a local superintendent of schools.

In his letter to MCPS staff, Dr. Smith announced that with much consideration and mixed emotions he is retiring so that he can spend more time with his family. He also reflected on his time as superintendent, praising MCPS staff for their work and the significant strides the system has made to narrow persistent achievement and opportunity gaps.

“MCPS staff are among the most talented and dedicated in this country,” Dr. Smith said. “The work we have done together around the equity accountability framework, the allocation of resources, student well-being, technology and the expansion of early childhood  programs are among a host of system improvements that I am proud of.”

Dr. Smith will remain with MCPS until June 1 and will be fully engaged in guiding the school system as it works to return students to in-person learning as soon as health metrics allow and/or health guidance is adjusted as a result of vaccine distribution.

During his tenure with MCPS, Dr. Smith has:

  • Implemented the Equity Accountability Model focused on positive student outcomes
  • Made equitable practices a part of all decision-making
  • Expanded access to early childhood education programs
  • Increased Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs and expanded partnerships that provide students access to STEAM programs
  • Significantly expanded social-emotional supports for students and staff
  • Expanded staff professional development, especially to support virtual-only learning
  • Increased transparency of data through online dashboards and a strong district strategic plan
  • Improved community engagement by requiring stakeholder involvement in all work
  • Led the creation of three new regional International Baccalaureate centers to provide more access to rigorous coursework
  • Increased investment in support for English Language Learners
  • Launched new initiatives to attract, recruit and retain a highly qualified and diverse teacher workforce to support the needs of all students

Dr. Smith praised Board of Education members as being truly dedicated to the success of all students. “The 17 school board members I have worked with during my time as superintendent have been committed, dedicated professionals, and they have consistently 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.”

“Dr. Smith has been an unwavering champion for Montgomery County Public Schools,” stated Board of Education President Brenda Wolff.  “He has helped guide the school system through very turbulent times with a deep commitment to our students, staff, families and community.  We thank him for his service and wish him well in his well-deserved retirement.” 

The Board of Education will name an interim superintendent of schools soon. The Board will then determine the next steps for conducting a nationwide search to identify the next superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools.

Dr. Smith completed his announcement letter with best wishes for all of MCPS. “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.”

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