Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland has appointed Monifa McKnight as acting superintendent.
McKnight, currently deputy superintendent, will become acting superintendent June 1 and interim superintendent starting July 1. She will be the county’s first Black woman superintendent.
Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith announced his retirement Jan. 22.
The interim assignment, which needs to be approved by the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools and will be confirmed at a future school board meeting, lasts through June 30, 2022. Until then, the school system said it will conduct a national search for the next superintendent.
“Dr. McKnight possesses a deep knowledge of Montgomery County Public Schools that would serve to support the district during this period of transition,” Brenda Wolff, president of the Board of Education, said in a statement. “The Board looks forward to working closely with Dr. McKnight to ensure MCPS meets the needs of all students.”
“I’m humbled and honored by this appointment and the Board’s confidence in me to lead at such a critical time for our school system,” McKnight said in the statement. “MCPS’ focus on providing an equitable, meaningful and quality education for all students is a point of pride for me and always has been.”
McKnight came to MCPS in 2019, the statement said, from Howard County. Before that, she was in the Montgomery County system as director for secondary leadership development programs, and has also been the principal of Ridgeview Middle School.