Acting HCPSS Superintendent William “Bill” Barnes will become the permanent Superintendent effective July 1, 2024, pending contract negotiations and state approval. (Photo credit: Nicholas Griner, Multimedia Communications HCPSS)

Bill Barnes will move from acting superintendent to permanent superintendent for the Howard County Public School System, effective July 1. Barnes has served as acting superintendent since Jan. 10, 2024, following the retirement of Michael Martirano.

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

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.

After receiving an undergrad degree from Towson University and a Master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University, Barnes began his career with HCPSS in 2008, serving as the coordinator of secondary mathematics and director of secondary and Pre-K-12 curricular programs. Previously, he served as a high school math teacher.

“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,” said Swickard Mallo. “At his core, Mr. Barnes believes in the potential for greatness of Howard County students and for the [HCPSS]. The Board looks forward to supporting his efforts to make this a reality.”

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