Montgomery superintendent splits a top administration role into two -- Gazette.Net







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Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr announced Tuesday that he will split the role of one of his top administrators into two positions for the next school year.

Brian K. Edwards, who has served as chief of staff and chief communications officer since May 2010, will be only chief communications officer as of July 1. Edwards has served as chief of staff since October 2007.

Starr is bringing in Andrew Zuckerman, currently an area superintendent from Prince George’s County Public Schools, to serve as chief of staff. The position directly reports to Starr and is meant to be a liaison between him and school system operations.

The positions have been merged since May 2010, when the previous chief communications officer left the school system, according to school system spokesman Dana Tofig.

Zuckerman’s salary will be $165,875 a year, according to Tofig.

When asked where the money for the new position would come from in next year’s $2.2 billion budget — which already has been submitted to the County Council for consideration — Tofig said the new position was budget-neutral, meaning it won’t have an effect on spending.

“Funds will be found within the central services budget,” he wrote in an email.

Starr thanked Edwards for his work as chief of staff, saying he has done “exemplary work.”

But Starr said he wants Edwards to focus only on revamping the school system’s communications work.

“His gift and skill is in the communications area,” Starr said. “I want him focused on this full time.”

Zuckerman has worked in administrative roles for Prince George’s County Public Schools since 2008. Prior to that, he worked in various education leadership and other roles in Brooklyn, N.Y., New Haven, Conn., and Washington, D.C.