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First Day of School Brings New MCPS Superintendent to Clarksburg and Germantown

In the pre-dawn twilight at the Clarksburg School Bus Depot the new Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, Dr. Jack R. Smith did interviews with television stations and waved to MCPS bus drivers as they began their first runs of the new school year.

Smith, who is just shy of three months into his time as the head of MCPS, was in Clarksburg to catch a bus, a school bus. Smith rode an MCPS school bus from the Clarksburg Depot to Neelsville Middle School. The bus made stops in the northern portion of Germantown including stops along St. Johnsbury Lane and Staleybridge Road in Germantown en route to the Germantown middle school.

“With 204 schools I need to get to know all the schools quickly,” said Smith, when asked why he chose to visit Neelsville Middle School for his first stop on the first day of school for MCPS under his leadership. “The chance to be at Neelsville with 900-plus students and the Principal Mrs. Parcan is a great opportunity. It is a chance to spend time visiting with students about what they are going to do this year and what they think is what I need to spend my time doing.”

Once Smith arrived at Neelsville among the throng of excited students exiting school buses or being dropped off by parents, he greeted Assistant Principal Tonia Harley and Principal Mrs. L. Vicky Lake-Parcan. He greeted students coming off the bus he was on and entered the school speaking to students, staff, and administrators along the way.

Smith and Parcan popped into a few classrooms while teachers and students were getting their homerooms situated. He and Principal Parcan stopped into Neelsville’s television studio, where they joined the student anchor team and addressed the school. In one homeroom, he took part in an ice-breaking exercise after catching a beach ball with questions the catcher had to answer about him- or herself.

Smith took