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Starr Out as MCPS Super, Bowers to Step in Until Replacement Hired


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By Kevin O’Rourke

It is unclear if he wanted to leave for greener pastures or if the Board of Education was unhappy with his leadership but essentially Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joshua P. Starr gave two weeks-notice that he is leaving his post in MCPS today at Board of Education Headquarters in Rockville.

In a puzzling move that left many reporters wondering exactly why, the Board of Education and Starr announced that both parties had “reached a mutual agreement that will end Dr. Starr’s tenure with Montgomery County Public Schools.” It is not clear if Starr wanted to leave for greener pastures or the Board of Education was unhappy with his performance.

At a meeting earlier Tuesday morning the Board unanimously voted to approve a departure agreement that enables MCPS to immediately begin a search for a new superintendent and for Starr to pursue new career opportunities. Starr asked to be released from his current contract and will resign effective February 16.

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“After much discussion,” said Board of Education president Patricia O’Neill as she and Starr addressed the media, “the Board and Dr. Starr agreed it would be in the best interest of the district to appoint a new leader to carry forward the Board’s vision. The agreement reached today will allow the Board to move forward with a national search for a new superintendent and will allow Dr. Starr to pursue other professional opportunities. It is a fair agreement that allows both sides to focus on the future. The Board deeply appreciates the work he has done in our district over the past three and-a-half years.”

"Many of you have heard me say that I consider being the superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools one of the best jobs in public education,” Starr told the media. “Even today, I still feel that way. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the superintendent of MCPS for the past three-and-a-half years. I want to thank the Board for providing me with the opportunity to lead one of the best school districts in the country. I am very proud of the work we have done during my time here.”

In recent weeks, the Board of Education has been deliberating about Starr’s future with the district and whether to offer him a new four-year contract. After much discussion, the Board and Starr agreed it would be