Former superintendent had ‘zero’ involvement in search for new Montgomery Co. schools chief

The Board of Education in Montgomery County, Maryland, is days away from announcing who will be appointed the next superintendent of schools.

The firm that was hired to help in the search for the new superintendent is Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA).

It turns out that same firm, HYA, hired the man whose departure led to the current search.



Former Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith was hired by HYA in November, according to the firm’s Director of Operations Therese Meyer.

Meyer told WTOP that Smith “has zero to do with the Montgomery County Search that started in September.” Smith, said Meyer, is going through the training to become an associate “and do some educational consulting and possibly searches in the future.”

“We’re happy to have him on board. And we hope he can do searches very soon,” Meyer said of Smith.

Currently, Monifa McKnight, former Deputy Superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools, is serving as interim superintendent and has applied for the spot on a permanent basis. The county’s Board of Education will announce the appointment of the new superintendent at Tuesday’s business meeting at 9 a.m.

The Montgomery County School Board has contracted with HYA to conduct searches for school chiefs dating back to 1999.

The firm is currently conducting the search for a new superintendent for the Frederick County, Maryland, public school system.

In the past, HYA has also conducted superintendent searches for school systems in Prince George’s and Carroll counties in Maryland and Fairfax County in Virginia.

In 2020, HYA was hired by the Maryland State Board of Education to conduct the search that led to the appointment of the current State Superintendent of Education Mohammed Choudhury.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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