MCPS takes steps to appoint a new Watkins Mill principal


Sanjay Fernando

After Principal Carol Goddard officially announced her retirement at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, Watkins Mill must now go through the process of selecting a new principal.

Principal Carol Goddard will retire at the end of June after eight years at Watkins Mill High School. A committee is now working to select her replacement.

Goddard has been Watkins Mill’s principal since 2015 and after eight years of being principal here, has announced her retirement after 48 years of service within and outside of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

“Principals are the feature leaders of the school and responsible for every stakeholder across the community they serve,” MCPS Director of School Support and Well-Being Christophe Turk said.

The first step is for the county to publicly announce the vacancy for the principal is open so candidates can apply. The candidates are then screened by MCPS’ Office of Human Resources and Development to make sure they qualify.

“I’m part of the Principal Leadership Council, so I really hope that continues. [I want somebody] that’s open with us, honest, brings up issues, and stern but also friendly and open,” said junior Kyler Martinez.

The qualified candidates are invited to be interviewed with a panel made up of students, parents, school staff and central office leadership. After that, the selected candidates will be interviewed a second time by MCPS senior leadership.

“I think any principal needs to take the time to understand who we really are here in Watkins Mill and our unique needs,” science teacher Megan Wahl said. “So someone needs to take the time to walk around and talk to our students, to get to know them as well as Ms. Goddard did.”

The candidate with the strongest performance is invited to an interview with the superintendent of MCPS, Monifa McKnight. Afterwards, McKnight makes a recommendation to the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE).

“A good principal for Watkins Mill is somebody who wants to be at Watkins Mill, somebody who can lead and support our students, staff and community and build a community that showcases what we do and who we are as a school and in our community,” health teacher Kristina Smyrk Tringone added.

The BOE votes on the appointment at the meeting, and if approved, the new principal is announced and given a start date usually on July 1, 2023.