Former Montgomery County Public Schools Superintended and Germantown resident Dr. Paul L. Vance died at the age of 83 on Saturday, May 2.
Vance served as MCPS superintendent from 1991 to 1999. Vance retired after eight years at the top post. He was the school system’s first black superintendent.
He served Montgomery County Public Schools from 1977 to 1999, first as Area Associate Superintendent and then as Deputy Superintendent of Schools until taking over the top spot in 1991.
"My Board of Education colleagues and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Paul L. Vance,” said Board of Education President Patricia B. O'Neill in a statement.” We are grateful for his work as an educator, administrator, and community leader and the impact he had on generations of children in Montgomery County and throughout the region.”
"From 1991 to 1999, Dr. Vance guided Montgomery County Public Schools through a tremendous period of change,” said O’Neill. “Throughout his tenure, he remained focused on setting high expectations for all students while working to meet their individual needs and interests.”
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said, “I am greatly saddened by the passing of my friend and colleague Paul Vance. As a member of the Council Education Committee, I worked closely with him during his time as MCPS Superintendent."
“Education has lost a real champion, a trailblazer," said Leggett. "He believed in access to a quality education for all and for the excellence that would allow each and every child the opportunity to realize his or her full potential. His example lives on in the thousands of lives he touched. We will never forget Paul.”
Prior to coming to Montgomery County, Vance was a Deputy Superintendent for Baltimore City Public Schools. He started his career in education as math teacher in Philadelphia, and later rose to the position of Principal at Clarence E. Pickett Middle School in Philadelphia.
After retiring from MCPS, Vance served as superintendent of D.C. Public Schools from 2000 to 2003.
Even after his retirement, he continued to work as a community leader, including serving as president of the Montgomery County NAACP and a member of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.
"Dr. Vance's work in Montgomery County, Washington, D.C., and many other communities had a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and his legacy lives on in their success and achievement. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Vance's family as they celebrate his life, his work, and his commitment to making the future better for our children," said O’Neill.
Photo courtesy MCPS.