If you want to find out what the new Montgomery County schools chief is up to, you might check his twitter account. Joshua Starr may be posting pictures from his latest school visit or sharing an article about school reform that he read over the weekend.
The updates on @mcpssuper represent a dizzying dive into social networking from the head of Maryland’s largest school
system, as the 41-year old leader steps into the shoes of a superintendent two decades older who did not even maintain his own e-mail account.
People reaching out to former schools chief Jerry Weast had to pick up the phone or — are you sitting down? — go and talk to him in person. Any e-mails went straight to his assistant.
“Night and day” is how Board of Education president Christopher Barclay described the two men’s approach to communication and technology.
It’s not the only obvious generational difference - Starr has a young family, including two children enrolled at Burning Tree Elementary, while Weast started the job with grown kids and an empty nest.
The shift in perspective and abilities should be interesting to follow as Starr transitions into his new job.
One fresh skill the new superintendent has demonstrated is the ability to communicate within 140 characters. Starr’s twitter feed shows solid proficiency in techno shorthand, the native written language for many youths who think e-mail is old school.
On Thursday, Starr tweeted:
“Why I love my job: am mtg with state delegation, stdnt town hall, 5th grd concert at #strathmore, mtgs w principals, BoE comm convo tonite.”