Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith announced Thursday that he will retire in June for family reasons.
In a pre-recorded video on the school system’s YouTube channel, Smith said that he plans to join his wife in Maine, where she is taking care of their grandson who underwent open heart surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While I may be leaving Montgomery County Public Schools, I know it will go forward and do very well, and that there will be a part of my heart here as I go away this spring to a different obligation and a different adventure and doing different things than I have done before,” Smith said.
Smith has been Montgomery County’s superintendent since July 2016, after serving as the interim state superintendent of schools. His retirement comes during an uncertain time, when teachers and administrators are under pressure to decide whether to return some students to schools as COVID-19 continues to ravage the state.
“His steady leadership has guided us through these tremendously challenging times as we navigate the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic and work to get students and staff back in buildings as quickly and safely as possible,” the Montgomery County Board of Education said in a statement. “Our focus remains on providing a robust learning experience for students and ensuring a safe return to in-person learning.”
The county’s school board will choose an interim superintendent “soon,” according to a press release.
“I hope this COVID-19 situation diminishes and that the community will go forward in a strong united fashion on behalf of every child,” Smith said in his video.