Montgomery County Public Schools names new superintendent

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:38 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent search is now complete. This comes after superintendent Mark Miear was terminated without cause by the school board in March.

In a 6-1 vote Tuesday night, the Montgomery County School Board voted to approve New Jersey native Dr. Bernard Bragen as MCPS’s new superintendent. Vice-Chair Penny Franklin was the only board member to vote no.

“There’s a lot of issues that we need help with right now and I feel like he’s ready for that,” said Board Member Linwood Hudson.

“I’m very happy, I’m very enthusiastic about this, I’m all in on this decision,” said Board Member Mark Cherbaka.

“We look forward to the leadership, student focused dedication and commitment in collaboration that Dr. Bragen will bring to the students, staff and families in our county,” said Board Chair, Sue Kass.

The New Jersey native has been in education for 34 years, nine as a superintendent.

“Montgomery County was one of those that I applied for and I was fortunate to get offered the position, and I’m really looking forward to the two things, starting there as their school leader but also the opportunity to be a citizen of Montgomery County,” said Bragen.

The minute Bragen gets to Montgomery County, he wants to connect with staff and the community.

“First thing I want to do is try to meet with all the staff, try to set up meetings with the administrators and visit as many schools as possible as quickly as I can and then perhaps to set up some type of venue to meet with our community members as well.”

Bragen plans to bring an open door policy to the district.

“You pick up the phone or you email the superintendent, you’re going to get a response. I think that’s important, because at the end of the day as the school leader I’m the one ultimately responsible, so I do think accessibility is really important and I think it’s something not a lot of people do.”

The plan as of right now is to have Bragen start December 1, but with approval from his current school board, he may step into the position earlier.

You can find the full press release from MCPS below:

Dr. Bernard F. Bragen, Jr. was appointed the new superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools. Dr. Bragen’s contract was approved by the Montgomery County School Board at a meeting held on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

Bragen has nine years of superintendent experience in public schools in New Jersey. His educational career began as a special education teacher and child study team member when, after 10 years, he moved into administration. He has been a Supervisor of Special Education, Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, and Superintendent of Schools.

“The School Board is excited to make this announcement,” said Sue Kass, chairwoman of the Montgomery County School Board. “We look forward to the leadership, dedication, and commitment to collaboration that Dr. Bragen will bring to the students, staff, and families in our County.”

“I am extremely grateful and excited to be given this opportunity,” said Dr. Bragen. “I believe that I can add value to the district and assist it on its path to excellence.”

Dr. Bragen is a passionate educator who believes all children can learn and thrive in a learning environment that is stimulating, comforting, and appropriate to their unique talents and abilities. Welcome activities for Dr. Bragen will be announced at a later date.

Bragen is currently the superintendent of schools for Edison Township Public Schools, where he has served since 2019. He was also the superintendent of schools for Hazlet Township Public Schools for 6 years.”