Baltimore County Public Schools Welcomes Myriam Yarbrough As New Superintendent


Myriam Yarbrough has been selected as BCPS's next superintendent. (Credit: Baltimore County Public Schools)

At Tuesday's board of education meeting, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) announced the appointment of Myriam Yarbrough, the current Deputy Superintendent, as the new superintendent. The decision prompted a round of applause from those watching the proceedings.

Yarbrough expressed her gratitude and honor for being chosen to lead BCPS as the fourth superintendent appointed in the last six years. Her term will last four years, starting on July 1, 2023.

"I am truly grateful and honored for this opportunity to lead Baltimore County Public Schools," Yarbrough said at the meeting.

An exhaustive search for the new superintendent began in March, conducted with the assistance of executive search company McPherson & Jacobson, LLC. They gathered 24 applicants over the past few months and produced a report that detailed the community's expectations for the new leader.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and Baltimore County Council Chair Julian Jones issued statements praising Yarbrough, highlighting her visionary leadership, inclusive approach, and commitment to academic excellence and school safety. Jones emphasized her local roots and lauded her work ethic, expressing confidence in her abilities to lead the schools effectively.

"I trust that BCPS has selected a visionary, inclusive, and results-driven leader who shares my values and expectation of openness and transparency, academic excellence, and school safety," Olszewski said.

"[Yarbrough is] homegrown and possesses the requisite work ethic as demonstrated throughout her career. I am confident that Dr. Yarbrough will lead our schools with dignity, integrity, and leadership that unequivocally ensures our children are successful," Jones added.

The need for a new superintendent arose due to the current Superintendent, Darryl L. Williams, opting not to renew his contract, which terminates on June 30. In January, he announced his departure from BCPS after several local organizations wrote letters to the school board requesting a search for a new permanent leader.

Williams' tenure, which began in 2019, was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and a ransomware attack that affected retiree benefits and the transition to online learning. He faced criticism over transparency issues, spending practices, and broader educational concerns like staffing shortages and decreased student performance scores.

Yarbrough acknowledged Williams' contributions and voiced her commitment to improving BCPS's standing.

"We will improve and accelerate student learning," she said.

Yarbrough's professional journey began as a BCPS chemistry teacher in 1996. She steadily climbed the administrative ladder, returning to BCPS in 2020, holding several key positions and earning recognition for her work in educational policy.

As Deputy Superintendent, Yarbrough has been responsible for planning, coordinating, and managing all professional learning activities and programs at BCPS. She ensures that resources are appropriately allocated to address individual school needs.

A Bowie State University alumna, Yarbrough also holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Maryland, College Park. She resides in Prince George's County.

With over 111,000 students, BCPS is the third-largest school system in Maryland and the 22nd-largest nationwide. Its diverse student population is 40.4% African American, 32.8% white, and 14% Hispanic or Latino.

Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) and its key leaders, including the newly appointed superintendent, have recently become embroiled in a wrongful termination lawsuit. The plaintiff, Shiria Anderson, the former Chief Human Resources Officer of BCPS, alleges that she was unlawfully terminated from her position.

Although the lawsuit mentions both the outgoing superintendent, Dr. Darryl Williams, and Yarbrough, the specifics of Yarbrough's involvement remain unclear. Community members and staff will closely monitor the lawsuit's proceedings and their potential implications for BCPS's leadership.

Board Chair Jane E. Lichter acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead, emphasizing the significant amount of work required.

"This job won't be easy; we have a lot of work ahead of us," Lichter said.

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