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Superintendent Search

Barnes Named HCPSS Superintendent

    The Howard County Board of Education at its public meeting on May 23 announced that current Acting Superintendent for the Howard County Public School System, William J. Barnes, will become the permanent superintendent, effective July 1. Barnes has served in the acting role since Jan. 10, following the retirement of Dr. Michael Martirano.

    Read The Board’s Full Announcement


The Howard County Board of Education and Howard County Public School System are dedicated to creating a culture of learning and continuous improvement that provides every child with a high quality, rich and rigorous education, through a system of integrated schools in which every school represents a strong, diverse, and vibrant community of learners. With a mission of ensuring the academic success and social-emotional well-being for each student in an inclusive and nurturing environment that closes opportunity gaps, HCPSS serves more than 57,000 students across 78 schools and programs.

The driving force of the success of the school system is the Superintendent, who is responsible for bringing the HCPSS mission, vision, and core beliefs to life through a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation with a focus on results.

Process Timeline

Following the retirement of HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano, the Howard County Board of Education named HCPSS Chief Academic Officer William J. Barnes as Acting Superintendent and announced it would commence a nationwide search for a permanent Superintendent.

Please Note: McPherson & Jacobson is referenced in the information below. McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, is a Board of Education-approved recruitment firm that will assist in the selection process of a new Superintendent.


Position Posting

March 2024

The HCPSS Superintendent position application period is now closed.


Public Input

March-April 2024

Stakeholder Survey

Via a brief online survey, the Howard County Board of Education sought stakeholder input on the search for a permanent Superintendent via a brief online survey.

The survey closed April 5. Members of the public may continue to provide feedback to the Board of Education by emailing

Stakeholder Sessions

The Board of Education held public stakeholder sessions April 3 and 4. The April 4 session was streamed live on the HCPSS website and an archived video is available online.

The Board of Education held a separate virtual session for HCPSS students on April 4.

Stakeholder Report

Following the in-person sessions and online survey, McPherson & Jacobson issued a stakeholder input report.


Applicant Review Process

April-May 2024

The application period closed April 11, after which completed applicant files were forwarded to the consultants at McPherson & Jacobson, who begin the review and pre-interview process.

Consultants provided information to the Board on all applicants, and presented summary profiles and video interviews of qualified candidates.

The Board selected the candidates it wanted to interview.



May 2024

Soon after the Board selected their candidates, interviews were conducted.


Superintendent Announcement

May 2024

The Board announced William J. Barnes as the new HCPSS Superintendent.

Resources & Additional Information


In addition to completing the stakeholder survey, all students, parents/guardians, staff, community members and additional stakeholders may provide feedback by: