MCPS Hires McKnight, First Female Superintendent

MCPS has officially ended its search for a new superintendent. On  Tuesday Feb. 8, 2022 the board of education (BOE) made the unanimous decision to select Dr. Monifa McKnight as the new superintendent. 

Dr. Mcknight received her doctorate and degrees from both Bowie State University and the University of Maryland. The county appointed Dr. McKnight to the position after she applied for the job at the beginning of the school year. This is a milestone for MCPS, as she is the first woman and second person of color to be an MCPS superintendent. 

McKnight will officially begin her term on July 1 after contract negotiations and signing. Though she has been the interim superintendent this school year, her official appointment has been celebrated by many.

MCPS has a very diverse student body that MCPS prides itself on. MCPS has implemented many policies to represent the diversity in the schools and the system. This change in superintendent will also work to represent the minorities and women in the school system. 

“I think that MCPS prides itself on diversity a lot, they are like oh look at all these policies that fit students of color. But then they never actually put it into action,” Freshman class president Sophie Nguyen said.  “I think that it is great that we are getting more representation.” 

Dr. McKnight has been a part of MCPS since 2001  as a teacher, principal, and district  administrator. She also worked in Howard County, running instructional leadership and various Chief Manager positions in the county.  

McKnight has taken on an important role in the school system, as she will have lots to overcome. With COVID-19 her job has only gotten more difficult, especially with new variants coming out every few months.

McKnight has taken over as interim superintendent during a very unexpected time in the world; nonetheless, she will continue her role into her time as superintendent. 

“After winter break, the BOE faced a lot of criticism. So I think she wants to rebuild trust in the community, and make communication more transparent,” Nguyen said. 

Dr. McKnight is just waiting to finalize the contract that will give her the official title and role in the district. 

Depending on the contract she signs, McKnight could be around for many years to come. She has already changed the social standards and is looking to help advance the school system further.