The same firm that helped the Montgomery County Board of Education find outgoing Superintendent Joshua Starr and former superintendent Jerry Weast has been hired to find a new schools chief.
The board approved a $35,000 contract with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) on Tuesday to coordinate efforts to find a new superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools by July 1. HYA is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois.
The firm has assisted in searches for leaders for 14 of the 25 largest school systems in the country, according to an MCPS announcement. Currently HYA is assisting in the search for a superintendent for Boston Public Schools as well as for leaders of more than a dozen other smaller school districts, according to the firm’s website. The Montgomery board hired HYA in 2011 to help find Starr and in 1999 to find Weast.
The school board declined to renew Starr’s contract last week and offered few details as to why members made that decision. Starr reached an agreement with the board to resign on Feb. 16. Under the agreement, he will receive $97,100 to compensate for what he would have earned under the terms of his contract, which was scheduled to end June 30. Starr’s annual salary at the time of his resignation was $264,000. The board and the superintendent also agreed to refrain from making “disparaging” remarks about each other, according to the terms of the agreement.
Board President Patricia O’Neill declined to answer reporters’ questions about what the board would look for in a new superintendent at the press conference announcing Starr’s resignation last week.
In a press release Tuesday, O’Neill said, “Our vision is to inspire learning by providing the greatest public education to each and every student. We look forward to working with our staff, students and community to find the best superintendent who can help us achieve that vision.”
She said in the statement that HYA has the expertise and knowledge to “conduct this search as quickly and comprehensively as possible.”
MCPS Chief Operating Officer Larry Bowers will serve as interim superintendent during the search. Starr served as MCPS superintendent for 3½ years before resigning, while Weast held the position for 12 years before retiring.