Dear MCPS Community,
I am humbled and honored to have been named Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools. For 20 years, I have worked in partnership with so many parents, students, teachers and administrators. I have had the privilege to have grown up in this school system as a teacher, teacher leader, principal, central office administrator and deputy superintendent. Today marks the beginning of the next phase of our shared journey.
Like you, I am deeply committed to your children. I know that we must not waver in our promise to make sure that each and every one of them is healthy, safe, engaged and challenged in order to leave our halls career, college and community ready. To do that will take trust and true partnership, unrelenting effort and the magic we create when we all come together in service of our most precious resources—our children. While we will sometimes disagree, and I won’t always get it right, we are committed to doing our very best to meet the highest standards. Our children deserve no less. All of us—teachers, administrators, parents and community members—must lean into our roles fully, with purpose and integrity.
I pledge to you all of me. This is a moment for which I have prepared my entire professional life, the majority of which I have spent here in Montgomery County Public Schools. Together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
I am mindful of the strains that the past two years have placed on us as we battled an unprecedented public health crisis, while continuing to push for excellence in our schools. And I recognize all you have done to support your children and the school system. We have confronted the disorienting uncertainty, isolation and fear caused by the pandemic which resulted in an array of social, emotional, academic and mental health needs for our entire community.
We determined we would not be defined by the pandemic; rather, we will collectively find a way to navigate the challenges. We will make our schools the healthy and safe places that our children deserve and preserve the opportunities of in person learning. Your partnership, patience and impatience throughout this challenging time has resulted in learnings and progress for our entire school community. This has not been easy, but together we have persevered, and I thank you for your important contribution to this consuming effort.
Let’s continue in this spirit of shared responsibility, shared opportunity and shared possibility for our children, for our schools and for our communities. The power of our combined efforts, care and commitment will carry us forward. When we are united by our common interests, which center around the success of our students, we cannot fail.
In the coming weeks I plan to reach out to you more fully, to create space to hear from you about your aspirations for our district, how you wish to contribute and what I can do to better hear and value the many and diverse voices in our community. I will share with you more about our plan to bring the community together on behalf of our students and school system.
We’ve got so much work ahead, and I cannot think of better partners with whom to seize the opportunities before us. I am grateful for your confidence, treasure your partnership and look forward, with you, to a bright future ahead for our school community. Let’s get at it.
Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent of Schools