2021 | Schools

MCPS graduations begin Wednesday

Plus: Whetstone Elementary principal wins MCPS Mark Mann award; Montgomery College recognized as best online community college in Maryland

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This story was updated at 1 a.m. on May 29, 2021, to correct a reference to Whetstone Elementary School.

MCPS graduations begin Wednesday

Montgomery County Public Schools’ graduation season will kick off on Wednesday and run through June 17.

Ceremonies will be held outdoors at high schools’ athletic stadiums.

Most ceremonies will be held at either 9 a.m. or 5 or 6 p.m. to avoid the heat.

The school graduation dates and times are:

June 2
• Montgomery Blair High School, 9 a.m.
• Quince Orchard High School, 9 a.m.
• Stephen Knolls School, 10 a.m.

June 3
• RICA, 6 p.m.
• Rock Terrace School, 10 a.m.
• Thomas S. Wootton High School, 9 a.m.
• Wheaton High School, 9 a.m.

June 4
• Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, 9 a.m.
• Damascus High School, 9 a.m.
• Model Learning School, 1 p.m.
• Paint Branch High School, 9 a.m.
• Walter Johnson High School, 9 a.m.
• Winston Churchill High School, 5 p.m.

June 7
• Clarksburg High School, 9 a.m.

June 8
• Poolesville High School, 9 a.m.

June 9
• Albert Einstein High School, 6 p.m.
• Northwest High School, 9 a.m.
• Rockville High School, 9 a.m.
• Springbrook High School, 9 a.m.

June 11
• James Hubert Blake High School, 9 a.m.
• Richard Montgomery High School, 5 p.m.
• Sherwood High School, 9 a.m.
• Walt Whitman High School, 9 a.m.
• Watkins Mill High School, 9 a.m.

June 14
• Northwood High School, 9 a.m.
• Seneca Valley High School, 9 a.m.

June 15
• Alternative Education Programs, 10 a.m.
• John F. Kennedy High School, 9 a.m.
• Longview School, 10 a.m.

June 17
• Col. Zadok Magruder High School, 9 a.m.
• Gaithersburg High School, 6 p.m.

During a school board meeting this week, MCPS Associate Superintendent James Koutsos said that, in alignment with county COVID-19 guidelines, face coverings will not be required at outdoor graduations for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Fifth- and eighth-grade promotion ceremonies will be held virtually.

Whetstone Elementary teacher wins MCPS Mark Mann award

Loretta Woods, the principal at Whetstone Elementary School, was recently named the winner of MCPS’ annual Mark Mann Excellence and Harmony Award.

The award, established in 1991, is presented by the superintendent each year to honor an administrator who “has shown exceptional performance in promoting academic excellence, positive human relations, and community outreach,” according to school board documents.

Woods was selected “for her dedication to provide a challenging academic program for every student,” the resolution announcing the award said.

The document said Woods is a “visionary leader” who has implemented schoolwide programs and professional development based on data and is “committed to strengthening the community and families” by hosting events that “enrich learning” outside of the traditional school day.

Montgomery College recognized as best online community college in Maryland

Montgomery College was recently recognized as the best online community college in Maryland by Premium Schools.

Montgomery College was chosen for providing seven online degrees and many certificate programs.

Montgomery College has online degrees in business, computer science and technologies (two tracks), criminal justice (two tracks), early childhood educational technology and general studies.

“In recent years, Montgomery College has expanded its online programming and is one of the best online community colleges in the nation,” Premium Schools wrote in an email to the college, according to a press release.

New state superintendent of schools appointed

In a unanimous vote on Thursday, the Maryland State Board of Education appointed the next state superintendent of schools.

Mohammed Choudhury, currently the associate superintendent and chief strategy, talent and innovation officer for the San Antonio Independent School District, will take over the position on July 1. He will replace retiring State Superintendent Karen Salmon.

“When we set out on our search for Maryland’s next superintendent, our goal was to identify and hire the highest caliber candidate to build the future of education for all Maryland children,” Maryland Board of Education President Clarence Crawford said in a statement.

“Considering Mr. Choudhury’s outstanding transformative accomplishments, we are completely confident that we have hired the right person, one who deeply cares about children. … He is a bold pioneer in the educational community, and we are fortunate to have secured his leadership as Maryland’s chief education officer as we continue to recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 and seek to implement the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.”

Choudhury started his career as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District.