Deputy Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer Appointed

June 3, 2014
Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr has announced changes to the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) leadership team that will take effect in July.

On Tuesday, Dr. Starr announced that Kimberly Statham, currently serving as the deputy superintendent of teaching, learning, and programs, has been named deputy superintendent for school support and improvement. Also on Tuesday, the Board of Education approved the hiring of Maria V. Navarro, of Baltimore City Public Schools, to be the new chief academic officer for MCPS.

“Dr. Statham and Dr. Navarro bring a vast array of experience and knowledge to their new positions and will be a crucial part of our efforts to prepare all students to thrive in their future,” Dr. Starr said. “I am excited for the future of MCPS and I am grateful for the leadership of these two lifelong educators.”

As deputy superintendent for school support and improvement, Dr. Statham will lead areas that provide direct services to schools and principals, including leadership development and school improvement efforts. The Office of School Support and Improvement (OSSI) includes the six associate superintendents who provide oversight to all 202 MCPS schools. Dr. Statham replaces Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, who is leaving MCPS this month to become superintendent of Hartford (Conn.) Public Schools.

Over her 34-year career, Dr. Statham has served at every level of public education—teacher, principal, administrator, and superintendent. She spent the first 21 years of her professional career in MCPS as a teacher and administrator and also served as deputy superintendent and chief academic officer for Howard County Public Schools. In 2005, she was appointed chief academic officer for the Oakland Unified School District and was elevated to superintendent the following year. She served as deputy state superintendent in Washington, D.C., and also has worked as a regional vice president for Edison Schools and as a partner in the NewSchools Venture Fund in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Dr. Statham returned to MCPS as a principal and was named deputy superintendent in 2012.

In replacing Dr. Statham, Dr. Starr has changed the title of this position to chief academic officer, believing it better reflects the role and expectations for the leader of teaching and learning programs in MCPS. As chief academic officer, Dr. Navarro will oversee the offices that support, improve, and evaluate student learning, including curriculum and instruction, special education and student services, community engagement, testing, and accountability.

Dr. Navarro is a veteran educator who has served in a variety of teaching and leadership roles in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.  For the past five years, she has been working in Baltimore City Public Schools, most recently as the acting chief academic officer. During her tenure in Baltimore City, Dr. Navarro has overseen several high-profile strategic initiatives, including the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the development of a new framework for the evaluation of teachers and school administrators, and leadership development. Prior to joining Baltimore schools, Dr. Navarro worked as a senior level administrator for the Christina School District in Delaware and as a teacher and administrator for the Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School in Washington, D.C.  

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