Monifa McKnight Becomes First Woman to Lead Montgomery County Schools

Monifa McKnight, the first woman to serve as superintendent for Montgomery County, will now lead Maryland’s largest school district.

On May 10, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted to confirm Dr. Monifa McKnight as the county’s next superintendent. McKnight will formally take over the superintendency on July 1 and will serve a four-year term.

The school board unanimously chose McKnight as their top pick for superintendent in February, and the May 10 vote on her hiring contract finalized her appointment to the top position. Prior, she was named in March 2021 as interim superintendent, and before that, McKnight was the district’s deputy superintendent — the second-in-command to then-Superintendent Jack Smith.

A February press release from Montgomery County Public Schools detailed the district’s search for its next superintendent:

The Board’s vote is the result of a months-long, national superintendent search that included a remarkable level of community involvement. The Board solicited feedback through three public forums, a districtwide survey, and a series of focus groups and individual interviews. Additionally, panels of community members interviewed a diverse slate of four finalists for the superintendent position. In total, more than 5,000 community members, including parents and educators, engaged in the selection process.

McKnight holds a Master of Science degree in educational leadership from Bowie State University and a doctorate of education in educational leadership and policy from the University of Maryland in College Park.

Read reporting from the Bethesda Beat for more details on McKnight’s hiring and her contract.

Access the May 10 agenda and meeting materials.

Video of the May 10 Board meeting is available on its YouTube channel.

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