The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide


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Dr. Felder works in public education as MCPS superintendent

Bella Major
Dr. Monique Felder introduces herself to the school district at a press conference held by the Board of Education on Feb. 6.

Dr. Monique Felder was appointed as interim superintendent of MCPS at the Board of Education meeting on Feb. 6. This occurred after Dr. Monifa B. McKnight announced she was stepping down as superintendent after three years of service on Feb. 2. According to Montgomery Perspective, Dr. McKnight was paid $1.3 million through an agreement associated with her departure. Her resignation came amidst backlash over the promotion of former Farquhar Middle School principal Joel Beidleman, despite having various reports and complaints of harassment and bullying. 

Dr. Felder began her 32 year career in education working in MCPS from 1992 to 2014, rising through the ranks to become a principal and elementary program supervisor before leaving to be an executive director for the office of the superintendent in Prince George’s County Public Schools. She then left PGCPS in 2016 to become chief academic officer for Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee, which she left in 2019 to become superintendent of Orange County Public Schools in North Carolina.

“Dr. Felder has a long and successful career in public education. We are confident that her background in district leadership, instruction, and administration makes her the right person to carry us through this transition period,” President of the Board of Education Karla Silvestre said.

While in MCPS, Dr. Felder was recognized with the International Reading Association’s Award for Exemplary Reading Programs and as a finalist for The Washington Post’s Outstanding Leadership Award. During her term at Orange County Public Schools, the district reported a nearly 50 percent increase in AP and IB enrollment for students of color, according to Chapelboro. The district also reported an increase in graduation rates from 84 to 90 percent.

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According to an email from Dr. Felder to MCPS staff members on Feb. 6, her primary goal is to help “create stability within the district” and aid in the transition to a permanent superintendent. 

“My immediate focus is on closing out the 2023-2024 school year on a high note and keeping the spotlight firmly on our students where it belongs,” Dr. Felder wrote.

At RM, some teachers continue to believe that after the sudden introduction of Dr. Felder as interim superintendent, the school district has still been able to maintain stability. 

“I would say we are stable. My view is that MCPS continues to be one of the strongest school districts in the nation. I’ve previously taught in other districts and every school and school district has their challenges, but the challenges that we are working towards solving, relative to where most schools are, indicate to me that we are stable,” Government teacher David James said.

Some RM students are not familiar with Dr. Felder and her career. Additionally, some have voiced skepticism about how much she will be able to accomplish during her short time as interim superintendent.

“I haven’t heard anything about her yet, I only heard the old superintendent had left,” sophomore Chelsea Ramirez said. “I don’t think she’ll bring change because I doubt she’ll really understand our views as students with the age gap.”

Other students believe MCPS will run smoothly, but think some school-based policies need to be re-assessed.

“I have not heard anything about her, but I think our school curriculum is really good as it is right now,” sophomore Gavin Camacho said. “But as a school, we’re heading in a bad direction because of what RM is doing with the bathroom policy. These are changes that are making students’ lives harder, like walking around the whole school now to find a bathroom, we’re losing more instruction and work time in classes.” 

Dr. Felder plans to meet with school leaders and principals over the coming months, as well as hear directly from students about immediate issues facing the county. She aims to rebuild trust between students, staff and families through transparency and engagement.


If you would like to voice your opinion on an issue you feel is relevant to our community, please do so here. Anyone is able and welcome to submit a Letter to the Editor, regardless of journalistic experience or writing skills. Submissions will be published either online or in a print issue. 

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About the Contributors
Gavin Lewis
Gavin Lewis, News and TidePod Contributor
Gavin Lewis is a Sophomore at Richard Montgomery and is elated to be writing for the Tide this year! This is his first year writing as a News Editor and TidePod contributor. Outside of The Tide, he loves playing tennis, watching movies, and writing his own movie scripts. He is looking forward to writing entertaining and impactful stories, as well as informing the Richard Montgomery community on local, national and worldwide news!
Bella Major
Bella Major, Video Editor