Superintendent Jerry Weast Named 2011 Outstanding Leader

February 11, 2011
Leadership Montgomery Honors 12 Years of Service to MCPS

  Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Jerry D. Weast has been named the recipient of the 2011 Sandy Spring Bank Outstanding Leader Award.

  The award, administered by Leadership Montgomery, recognizes exemplary leadership that has had a significant impact on the lives of Montgomery County citizens. Dr. Weast was nominated by more than 50 graduates and current participants in the Leadership Montgomery program.

  “I am honored to have been chosen for the Outstanding Leader Award and to have been nominated by a group of citizens who care so deeply for Montgomery County,” Dr. Weast said. “Whatever has been accomplished during my tenure at MCPS has been due to the excellent work of our teachers and staff, and I share this award with them.”

  He will be honored at the annual Celebration of Leadership on June 9, 2011.

  Dr. Weast has been in education for over 40 years and has been a superintendent of school districts in Maryland, North Carolina, Montana and Kansas. He joined MCPS in 1999 and his contract was renewed in 2003 and 2007. He was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year in 2003 and was a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Weast, a member of the Leadership Montgomery Class of 2001, announced in August that he would retire at the end of his current contract on June 30, 2011.

  “Montgomery County has benefited tremendously from Jerry’s leadership and vision over the past 12 years,” said Esther Newman, executive director of Leadership Montgomery. “He represents the true essence of leadership and I am so pleased we can honor him with the Sandy Spring Bank Outstanding Leader Award.”

  Dr. Weast’s tenure at MCPS has been marked by dramatic changes in demographics, including a 57 percent increase in the number of students receiving free and reduced-price meals and a 116 percent increase in the number of English Language Learners.

  Working closely with his employees, Dr. Weast has implemented a strategic school reform effort that has led to all-time highs in academic achievement. For instance, the class of 2010 scored an average of 1653 on the SAT, the district’s highest score ever, and showed record-setting performance and participation on Advanced Placement exams.

  MCPS was the recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the highest Presidential honor an organization can receive for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. MCPS is just the sixth school district to win the award and is the largest, by far. Also, in 2010, MCPS was named a finalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education, which recognizes school districts that have improved student performance while narrowing racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps. MCPS is the first school district in the state of Maryland and the Washington area to be a finalist.

  “Dr. Weast will, of course, credit this outstanding performance to the extraordinary work of the MCPS staff and rightly so,” Dr. Weast’s nominators wrote in their letter. “But high-performing organizations are led by strong leaders who are focused on the right outcomes, can motivate others to join them and have the courage to make difficult choices. Jerry D. Weast is an extraordinary and visionary leader and it is only fitting that, in his last year as Superintendent, we honor his exceptional record of accomplishments and tireless service to the children of Montgomery County with the Outstanding Leader Award.”

Nomination Letter

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