Fairfax Co. turns to Montgomery Co. for superintendent advice

FAIRFAX, Va. – Fairfax County is reaching across the Potomac River for a little help with the search for its first new school superintendent in nearly a decade, asking Montgomery County for a little advice.

Montgomery County hired its newest superintendent Joshua Starr last April.

Montgomery and Fairfax counties often compete for new teachers, but on the search for a new Fairfax County superintendent there’s some cooperation.

“We all care about our kids, whether they are in Virginia or Maryland,” said Fairfax County Board of Education President Jane Strauss.

“They (Montgomery County) have just completed a search so it is very timely for us to pick up the phone and say, ‘Pat, could you come over and tell us how it went,” Stauss said.

The “Pat” to whom Strauss refers is Patricia O’Neill, a Montgomery County Board of Education member who chairs the board’s policy and strategic planning committees.

O’Neil offered Strauss lots of advice during a two-hour meeting Monday.

“Confidentiality in recruiting the best superintendent candidate is absolutely essential,” O’Neill said.

Fairfax County has about a year to find a new superintendent to replace Jack Dale who is stepping down when his contract expires in June 2013.

Fairfax City Schools will have a new superintendent in July when Fairfax County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Peter Noonan takes the helm. He replaces Ann Monday.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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