The Montgomery Public Schools System will soon begin the search for a new superintendent and the stakeholders who will be involved. The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce is waiting on the call to lend its expertise on hiring a new leader. The chamber could play a role.
"We have traditionally been involved in partnership with the school board as they have looked for superintendents in the past," says the chamber's Anna Buckalew. And for good reason. Buckalew says the chamber has a big interest in education.
"One of the key objectives of our long term "Imagine a Greater Montgomery" economic growth strategy has been to champion public education," Buckalew explains. See serves as Chief of Staff for the chamber of commerce, and says public schools play a role in the chamber's mission.
"It is a factor in our ability to recruit industry, not the only factor, and not necessarily a detriment that we have turnover," she explains. "Typically, I think superintendents only stay in school districts under 5 years before moving on to other positions, so it's not that uncommon."
Buckalew is hoping this transition will push Montgomery Public Schools to find the momentum the rest of the city is experiencing. "Montgomery has been in a roll, really, with tremendous momentum with a new image, a wonderful downtown, infrastructure improvements, new jobs, new businesses, new international headquarters," says Buckalew, "so it's time for the schools to have that same momentum. Steady leadership would be a positive for our public schools."
To be clear, the chamber only gets involved in the search for a superintendent at the request of the school board. The search hasn't even started, though. A check with MPS Thursday, the day after Supt. Barbara Thompson resigned, showed that the mutual separation agreement between MPS and Thompson has not been signed yet. It's still in draft form. It won't be released to the public until there's a signature.
Attorneys are still ironing out all the details, but terms approved by the board that provide Thompson with one year's base salary ($155,000) and benefits and up to $10,000 in moving expenses will not change.
While the search for a permanent superintendent has not yet taken place, an interim superintendent was chosen during Wednesday's special meeting of the MPS board.
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