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County Executive Marc Elrich Announces Reimagining School Safety and Students’ Well-Being Steering Committee Members

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

In April, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by members of the County Council, members of the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), MCPS Board of Education, Department of Health and Human Services (MCHSS) and the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) to announce the launch of “The Reimagining School Safety and Students’ Well-Being Initiative” (RSSSW) - an interagency partnership to address school safety and student well-being. To watch this announcement, click here.

“Addressing the mental health of students has been on our agenda since day one – but the last 13 months have clarified the urgency of the need. We must improve the educational environments and provide as much support for our students as quickly as possible,” said County Executive Elrich. “Reimagining School Safety and Students’ Well-Being is a collaboration between my office, the County Council, Board of Education, and Montgomery County Public Schools. This initiative will help us rethink and reshape public safety in our schools and provide the best social and mental health support for our students.”

In order to execute this initiative, Montgomery County will develop a Letter of Agreement to codify the agreements among the three agencies - Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), MCPD, and MCPS. This agreement will include but not be limited to defining the roles of all staff involved, identifying data points to measure impact of program and developing ongoing training needs for all staff.

“The Montgomery County Board of Education is pleased to support the work of the Reimagining School Safety and Student Well-Being Interagency Steering Committee,” said Brenda Wolff, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “We look forward to reviewing the recommendations of the committee that will reflect the vision of our joint commitment to providing comprehensive social emotional support for all students.” 

Additionally, a Steering Committee will be chaired by a representative from MCPS, DHHS, and MCPD and will include representatives from MCPS, DHHS, MCPD, the County Council, the Board of Education, and students themselves. The Steering Committee we will develop an implementation plan with timelines, identify the financial implications and needs to support program, and create a communication plan that supports implementation timelines.

Today, the following individuals were named to the Steering Committee:

  • JoAnn Barnes, (committee co-chair) chief of children, Youth and Family Services, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Willie Parker-Loan, (committee co-chair) assistant police chief, MCPD
  • Ruschelle Reuben, (committee co-chair) associate superintendent, Office of Student/Family Support and Engagement, MCPS
  • Josean Acevedo-Soto, security support staff, MCPS
  • Kirsten Andersen, administrator, Linkages to Learning, DHHS
  • Elaine Bonner-Tompkins, senior legislative analyst, Office of Legislative Oversight
  • Elise Burgess, principal, Sally Ride Elementary School, MCPS
  • Luis Cardona, administrator, Positive Youth Development, DHHS
  • Norman Coleman, principal, Francis Scott Key Middle School, MCPS
  • Stacey Flynn, captain, MCPD
  • Anita Garcia, social worker, Office of Student/Family Support and Engagement, MCPS
  • Tocarah Hargrove, sergeant, MCPD
  • Dan Helton, lieutenant, MCPD
  • Lauren Hurly, teacher, John F. Kennedy High School, MCPS
  • Luis Hurtado, security Support Staff, MCPS
  • Dustin Jeter, teacher, Springbrook High School, MCPS
  • N’Djetchi “Juslin” Kacou, student, Argyle Middle School, MCPS
  • James Koutsos, area associate superintendent, Office of Teaching, Learning and Schools, MCPS
  • Deborah Lambert, senior fiscal and policy analyst, Office of Management and Budget
  • Asashia Martin, instructional specialist, Office of Student/Family Support and Engagement, MCPS
  • Monica Martin, administrator of Child/Adolescent School and Community-Based Services, DHHS
  • Regina Morales, deputy chief of Behavioral Health and Crisis Services, DHHS
  • Kiera Norris, student, Northwood High School, MCPS
  • BB Otero, special Assistant to the County Executive
  • Nicole Rodriguez-Hernandez, Legislative Analyst, County Council
  • Rolando Santiago, chief of Behavioral Health and Crisis Services, DHHS
  • Neha Singhal, teacher, John F. Kennedy High School, MCPS
  • Sydney Smith, student, Clarksburg High School, MCPS
  • Caroline Sturgis, assistant chief administrative officer, County Executive Office
  • Elizabeth Thomas, principal, Quince Orchard High School, MCPS
  • Lori-Christina Webb, chief of staff, MCPS Board of Education
  • David Wilson, security support staff, MCPS

The Steering Committee will deliver a preliminary report with actionable recommendations for the County Executive and the MCPS Interim Superintendent by June 15, 2021, and a final report of its progress by September 30, 2021.

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Release ID: 21-341
Media Contact: Scott Peterson, 202-277-9412