The Montgomery County Board of Education has named Larry Bowers interim superintendent for the next school-year. Bowers, MCPS’ former long-time Chief Operating Officer, filled in as interim superintendent after the departure of Dr. Joshua Starr, but had planned to retire by the end of the year. The Board announced that Bowers would stay on for another year during an extremely short meeting earlier this afternoon.
Earlier this year, the Board of Education pushed for the departure of Superintendent Joshua Starr, resulting in a nationwide search for a new superintendent. Only a few days ago, the Board took the unusual step of identifying a “preferred” candidate, Andrew Houlihan, despite the generally confidential nature of the search and the ongoing discussions between Houlihan and groups of key community stakeholders. The Washington Post reported that Board President Patricia O’Neil did not hear much opposition to Houlihan, though many in the community felt differently. Doug Prouty, president of the county teachers union, stated that the superintendent search “clearly didn’t yield the quality pool of candidates.” Student groups have also expressed frustration at the exclusion of middle school representatives during the search process. Houlihan then suddenly withdrew from consideration for the position a few days ago.
“MCPS is lucky that Bowers could continue for another year,” expressed Richard Yarrow, president of the countywide high school student government. “MCPS is not in a great place right now, but at least there will be some continuity of leadership.” The search for the next superintendent will restart next school-year.
Article by MoCo Student news staff.