Montgomery County Board of Education approves Starr as new superintendent

This morning, the Montgomery County Board of Education unanimously approved Dr. Joshua P. Starr to be the next MCPS superintendent, succeeding Dr. Jerry D. Weast who is retiring after 12 years.

Starr, who is currently the Stamford (Conn.) Public Schools superintendent, will begin his MCPS tenure on July 1, 2011. He is expected to sign his contract at 11:30 Wednesday morning at the school board.

The Board conditionally appointed Starr on April 25, pending agreement on the terms of employment and approval by the state superintendent of schools, as required by Maryland law. State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick certified Starr's credentials.

"My family and I are thrilled to be coming to Montgomery County, which places the highest level of importance on public education," Dr. Starr said. "MCPS is a world-class school system and I look forward to working with the exceptional staff, the students and the community to continue this journey of excellence and raise it to the next level."

The board also approved Starr's employment contract, which includes a salary of $250,000 per year and $35,000 in deferred compensation, as well as a contribution of $18,750 toward his retirement. Starr also will receive other benefits including health, disability and life insurance, moving expenses and the use of a vehicle.

Starr earned a doctorate degree in administration and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is widely published in education journals.

In a statement issued by MCPS, his credentials were highlighted: "Dr. Starr has been the superintendent in Stamford since 2005, where he has distinguished himself by increasing student achievement for all subgroups, emphasizing increased academic rigor, standardizing curriculum, advancing the use of technology, creating business and civic partnerships, and emphasizing community and family engagement efforts. Previously, he served at the executive level in the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation, where he held the position of Director of School Performance and Accountability. He began his career as a special education teacher in the New York City Public Schools working with severely emotionally disturbed adolescents and has also served in administrative roles in Plainfield, New Jersey and Freeport, New York."