Elrich Names Committee Members for ‘Reimagining School Safety and Students’ Well-Being Initiative’

County Executive Marc Elrich and MCPS Student Member of the Board Nick Asante. Taken at April 23 press conference launching the initiative.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced the 32 members of a new steering committee tasked with leading discussion and implementation of recommendations for reimagining safety and mental health supports in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and the county.

Elrich launched the “Reimagining School Safety and Students’ Well-Being Initiative” during a press conference April 23. It’s an interagency effort between the county, MCPS and county police department (MCPD). The committee will provide a preliminary report with recommendations to Elrich and MCPS Interim Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight by June 15 and a final report by Sept. 30. Elrich said he fully expects recommendations will start being implemented as soon as possible and that not everything will wait for Sept. 30.

The steering committee is chaired by representatives from MCPS, the county Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and MCPD: Associate Superintendent of the MCPS Office of Student/Family Support and Engagement Ruschelle Reuben, DHHS Chief of Children, Youth and Family Services JoAnn Barnes and Assistant Police Chief Willie Parker-Loan.

Other members include three students and representatives from MCPS, the MCPS school board, DHHS, MCPD and the council council.

The steering committee members are as follows:

  • 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
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Maryam Shahzad

About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. She can be reached at mshahzad@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.


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