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HCPSS Executive Leadership Team

HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano has reorganized Central Office in order to promote equity, improve efficiencies, and ensure academic excellence for all students.

The new organization provides a flatter leadership model that fosters cross and vertical collaboration and opens lines of communication at all levels throughout the school system. With a focus on instruction as a birth-through-graduation continuum, the new structure better positions the school system to support schools and communities, improve responsiveness to parents/guardians, and enhance transparency.
Dr Martirano talking to a classroom of students.

Dr. Michael J. Martirano, Superintendent

Dr. Michael J. Martirano was named superintendent for the Howard County Public School System in July 2018 after serving as interim superintendent since May 2017. He considers himself a teacher first and foremost and believes children must be at the center of all decision-making. Learn more about the Superintendent →

Karalee Turner-Little, Deputy Superintendent

Karalee Turner-Little oversees grants, policy, strategy/data privacy, assessment, research/evaluation, technology, and serves as a liaison to the Board of Education. Turner-Little has been an educator for 30 years, serving in leadership roles in HCPSS, Montgomery County Public Schools, Md., Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Schools, N.C., and Lexington City Public Schools, N.C. Recent leadership roles include Executive Director to the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Affairs.

J. Stephen Cowles, General Counsel

J. Stephen Cowles oversees all legal matters, legislative services and Public Information Act request fulfillment. He has been a practicing attorney since 1994 and worked at Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) between September 2003 and March 2022. Initially hired as a special education counsel at BCPS, he later served as the deputy ​general counsel and represented the Superintendent and the school system in matters related to employment law, civil rights law, and student matters. He also oversaw the resolution of special education due process and mediation complaints.

David Larner, Chief Human Resources and Professional Development Officer

David Larner oversees human resources, leadership development, and teacher and paraprofessional development. Larner has been with HCPSS for more than 20 years, most recently serving as Performance, Equity and Community Response Director for Area 2 schools. Previously he was Administrative Director, Principal at Clemens Crossing Elementary, Assistant Principal at Hammond Elementary, and Instructional Team Leader and Teacher at Lisbon Elementary and Laurel Woods Elementary.

Anissa Dennis, Chief School Management and Instructional Leadership Officer

Anissa Dennis oversees a vertical educational delivery model that encompasses preschool through Grade 12. Dennis most recently served as HCPSS’ Chief Operating Officer, following roles of Administrative Director of Middle Schools and Coordinator of Leadership Development. Before joining HCPSS, she held leadership positions at Baltimore County Public Schools, which included Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and Director of Professional Development.

William Barnes, Chief Academic Officer

William Barnes oversees shared accountability, curriculum and instruction, special education, and student services. Barnes previously served at HCPSS as the Director of Secondary and Pre-K–12 Curricular Programs, and as Coordinator of Secondary Mathematics. He also was a Team Leader and Teacher in Baltimore County schools.

Jahantab Siddiqui, Chief Administrative Officer

Jahantab Siddiqui oversees communications, workforce engagement and community/government relations, as well as budget, accounting and payroll. Siddiqui most recently was the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Howard County Executive; served previously in communications, budget and legislative roles for Howard and Montgomery counties and other organizations; and was a Special Assistant to U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski.

Scott Washington, Chief Operating Officer

Scott Washington oversees school facilities, capital planning and operations, purchasing, and environment and risk management. Washington most recently served as HCPSS Director of Capital Planning and Construction, following other roles including Director of School Construction and Manager of Design and Preconstruction Services. He has spent most of his career in school construction, with HCPSS for more than 18 years.

James LeMon, Executive Director of Community, Parent and School Outreach

James LeMon provides leadership and support to HCPSS communities, parents and schools. LeMon most recently was the Principal at Wilde Lake High School, after serving as Assistant Principal and Teacher at several HCPSS schools. Prior to his education career, he held a variety of roles, including as a Social Worker, Family Therapist, Basketball Coach and Juvenile Probation Officer.
headshot of Dr. Terri Savage

Dr. Terri Savage, Executive Director of Special Education

Terri Savage oversees the HCPSS Department of Special Education. Over the past 25 years, she has served students and families in four Maryland counties, including St. Mary’s, Prince George’s and Montgomery before joining HCPSS. Previously, she was an elementary special educator, high school special education team leader, a staff development specialist, K-12 curriculum supervisor for specially designed instruction, and a special education instructional facilitator and coordinator.

Patrick Saunderson, Community Superintendent, Birth–Grade 12

Patrick Saunderson oversees the Area 1 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Most recently, Saunderson was Principal of Reservoir High School. During his 25 years at HCPSS, he served as Principal at Marriotts Ridge High School and Lime Kiln Middle School, Assistant Principal at Wilde Lake High School, and Teacher at Atholton High School.
Jennifer Peduzzi.

Jennifer Peduzzi, Community Superintendent, Birth–Grade 12

Jennifer Peduzzi oversees the Area 2 regional cluster of elementary, middle, and high schools. Throughout her 24 years in HCPSS, she has been a Performance, Equity, and Community Response Director, teacher at Long Reach High School, Special Education Instructional Facilitator for High Schools, Coordinator of Alternative Education Programs (K-12), Assistant Principal and Acting Principal at Centennial High School, Principal at Pataspco Middle School and Principal at Lake Elkhorn Middle School. Prior to joining HCPSS, Peduzzi was a teacher for Baltimore County Public Schools.

Dr. Kendra Johnson, Community Superintendent, Birth–Grade 12

Kendra Johnson oversees the Area 3 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Johnson comes to HCPSS from Montclair Public Schools in New Jersey, where she served as Superintendent. She has more than 23 years of education experience in Maryland, New Jersey and Washington State school districts, including but not limited to as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Title 1 Officer, Instructional Director, Chief Academic Officer, Assistant Superintendent for Equity, Curriculum and Instruction and Superintendent.
Justin FitzGerald

Justin FitzGerald, Performance, Equity, and Community Response Director

Justin FitzGerald supports the Community Superintendent in overseeing the Area 1 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Most recently, FitzGerald was principal at Guilford Elementary School. He previously worked in Prince George’s County Public Schools as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Now entering his 26th year working in education, he currently serves as a college supervisor for McDaniel College, in which he supervises aspiring graduate-level administration educators.

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis, Performance, Equity, and Community Response Director

Jonathan Davis supports the Community Superintendent in overseeing the Area 2 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Mr. Davis has worked in the Howard County Public Schools for 30 years. During the last 18 years, he served as principal at Swansfield, Bollman Bridge, Guilford and Cradlerock elementary schools. Prior to those roles, he was an elementary school teacher and later served as assistant principal at Phelps Luck Elementary School.

David Burton

David Burton, Performance, Equity, and Community Response Director

David Burton supports the Community Superintendent in overseeing the Area 3 regional cluster of elementary, middle and high schools. Mr. Burton’s educational career includes service as principal of Glenelg High School and Long Reach High School. Before joining HCPSS, he held various leadership positions with Prince George’s County Public Schools, including middle school science teacher, assistant principal, and high school principal.