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  • PSSAM Staff

Howard County Board of Education Names Bill Barnes as Superintendent

Updated: Jun 11

Howard County Public Schools Press Release

May 23, 2024


The Howard County Board of Education at its public meeting today (05/23/2024) announced that current Acting Superintendent for the Howard County Public School System, William J. Barnes, will become the permanent superintendent, effective July 1, 2024. Barnes has served as Acting Superintendent since Jan. 10, 2024, following the retirement of Dr. Michael Martirano.

After a comprehensive nationwide search and interview process, the Board chose Barnes to serve as just the eighth superintendent for the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) since 1949. The agreement is pending contract negotiations and approval by the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Carey Wright.

“We appreciate Mr. Barnes’ continued service to our youth and are thrilled that he has stepped forward to lead our school system,” said Board of Education Chair Jennifer Swickard Mallo. “We look forward to his commitment to change in instructional leadership as well as his ability to innovate and fulfill the promise of the Blueprint for Education. He brings to the job many years of experience and roles at HCPSS in the Division of Academics, his national reputation as a leader in Mathematics instruction, and keen mind for problem solving. He demonstrated agility as he stepped into the Acting Superintendent role, collaboratively worked with our county funders, and demonstrated heartfelt compassion during challenging budget times. At his core, Mr. Barnes believes in the potential for greatness of Howard County students and for the Howard County Public School System. The Board looks forward to supporting his efforts to make this a reality.”

“I am honored and humbled by the Board’s endorsement for me to continue to serve the students, staff and families as superintendent of the Howard County Public School System,” said Barnes. “I look forward to all we will accomplish together as we lift all students to even greater levels of achievement and fulfillment. My work will remain grounded by the students, teachers, support staff, families, and community members I show up for each day and whose voices and perspectives will inform our journey forward.”

Prior to becoming Acting Superintendent in January, Barnes served as the HCPSS Chief Academic Officer since 2017, overseeing the departments of Special Education, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and Program Innovation and Student Well-Being. He prioritized recruiting, developing and retaining leaders throughout those departments. Following receiving an undergrad degree from Towson University and a Masters degree from Johns Hopkins, Barnes began his career with HCPSS in 2008, serving as the Coordinator of Secondary Mathematics and Director of Secondary and PreK-12 Curricular Programs. Prior to that, he served as a high school math teacher. Throughout his extensive career in education, he has held multiple leadership roles on state and national committees, panels, and groups; primarily focused on mathematics education. He has committed his entire career to enhancing educational outcomes for all students. As a teacher, Barnes received National Board Certification and was awarded Maryland’s prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2003, the highest award bestowed upon a mathematics teacher in Maryland.



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