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Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

MCPS superintendent steps down

MCPS superintendent steps down

In late January, Montgomery County school superintendent Dr. Monifa McKinght was asked by the MCPS Board of Education to step down from her role as superintendent.

The news was released to students and staff when broadcast during a press conference McKnight participated in. “I will defend my reputation and my decades-long commitment to the students and families of MCPS, ” McKnight said in a speech she gave at the press conference.

McKnight stated in the same speech that she believes the board asking her to step down had nothing to do with her performance as superintendent and was based on other factors. In her speech, she said that she was not provided with any information or justification as to why the Board asked her to step down. She also said that the evaluation process “consistently affirmed that I have met expectations,” McKnight said.

McKnight also said that she was “concerned that [the Board’s] actions are based on something other than my performance, which would constitute a violation of my contract,” according to an article written by WTOP news. However, that argument was disputed when a statement was later released by the Montgomery County Education Association claiming that they – “like the rest of the public — are aware of serious problems with her leadership.”

The request for McKnight to step down came shortly after The Washington Post wrote an exposé of cases of sexual harassment committed by a former MCPS prinicpal. New information came out tying McKnight to the issue, as well as indicating McKnight “has been more concerned with protecting herself and her close associates than with doing right by front-line staff and students,” Fox 5 Washington D.C. said.

An email was sent to students and staff on Feb. 2 from McKnight that broke the news of her departure saying, “Effective today, after careful reflection, prayer, and willingness to demand fairness, I have reached a mutually agreed separation with the Board of Education,” McKnight said.

On the same day as the email Dr. Mcknight sent to staff and students announcing her departure from the county, the Board put out their final statement of the matter saying “ The Board is aware of the important work ahead. We must rebuild trust, begin to heal, and ensure that our school system is equipped to serve the students, staff, and families who make up our great school community. In the coming days, we will begin a national search for a new superintendent.”

As that week ended, McKnight officially stepped down from her role as MCPS superintendent. “Once The Washington Post report came out I anticipated it,” English teacher Daniel Pecoraro said.

Both staff and students heard the news of Dr. Mcknight stepping down on the same day as teachers were not aware of her actions beforehand. Teachers hold strong opinions about the process. “I think it’s the easy way out and I think it’s cowardly,” math teacher Eva O’Keefe said.

The new interim Superintendent is Dr. Monique Felder and she stepped into the role in early February.

Despite repeated attempts, no members of this school’s administration were available to comment.

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Lea Weinstein, sports editor
Junior Lea Weinstein is a sports editor in her third year on the Common Sense staff. In her free time, he enjoys playing sports and hanging out with her friends. You can also find her on IG @lea_weinstein
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