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BOE Names Bowers to Interim Superintendent’s Post



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The Montgomery County Board of Education has unanimously appointed Larry A. Bowers as interim superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools for the 2015-2016 school year. Bowers, a 37-year veteran of MCPS, has been serving as interim superintendent since February. His appointment is pending approval by the Maryland state superintendent of schools.

The appointment was met with thunderous applause from the many members of the MCPS staff which were in attendance at the Special Board of Ed meeting called for this appointment. Bowers, 66, who served as the district’s chief operating officer for 16 years, had planned to retire at the end of this school year but, at the request of the Board, agreed to put it off for one more year.

“The Mr. Bowers Fan Club is clearly in attendance,” joked Patricia B. O’Neill, president of the Board after the applause died down. “We are deeply grateful that he has agreed to serve as interim for this coming year. I know this wasn’t exactly what he had planned. He was scheduled to retire as of July 1 and I know that travel plans and knee replacement surgery have been looming on the horizon. I hope your wife will forgive us,” joked O’Neill to Bowers during the meeting. “The MCPS staff is very happy that there will be stability and positive direction. I know our deputies have been working very hard with Mr. Bowers this spring to make sure that all of our kids are educated, that the buses run on time, that AP exams are given, that principal appointments go forward. I thank the team for their hard work.”

The appointment of Bowers comes three days after it was made public that the Board’s “preferred candidate” to replace Joshua Starr as superintendent of schools, Andrew Houlihan had withdrawn his name from consideration for the job leaving the Board unable to find a superintendent before Bowers was to retire on July 1.

“I appreciate everybody’s support and I appreciate the Board’s support,” said Bowers at the meeting. “This wasn’t exactly what I was planning, but as everyone knows I have dedicated 37 years of my life to this school system. I have been extremely committed to not only make this the best school system in the country, but also a place where every parent is confident that wherever they are sending their child to school in Montgomery County, that they will get a good education and they are going to be prepared for their future. We still have work to do.

“I was certainly willing to step in knowing that I want to keep us not only on the right track, by working closely with the Board over the next month to layout the plan for next year when dealing with some of the issues of literacy and mathematics and the progress that we need to make, especially when focusing on the achievement gap and ma