AnneMarie Kestner Smith was appointed principal of North Bethesda Middle School. Credit: VIA MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

New principals have been named to lead North Bethesda Middle and Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary schools.

The school board on Monday unanimously voted to appoint AnneMarie Kestner Smith, previously assistant principal at William H. Farquhar Middle School in Olney, to take the helm at North Bethesda Middle.

“She looks forward to leading the staff at North Bethesda Middle School and becoming a part of that school community,” Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith said.

Kestner Smith has worked with MCPS for 21 years, spending time as a teacher, content specialist, assistant school administrator and principal intern.

Meredith Casper, the MCPS director of accelerated and enriched instruction, was unanimously appointed as principal of Drew Elementary in Silver Spring. Casper has spent 15 years with MCPS, and before working in the central office, she was a principal at Pine Crest Elementary in Silver Spring.  

Meredith Casper. Credit: Montgomery County Public Schools.

“She looks forward to working with the staff, students, parents, guardians and the community of Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School, and we believe she’s uniquely qualified for this school,” Jack Smith said.


Casper was originally from Connecticut and attended Goucher College in Towson, she wrote in an introductory letter to the Drew community. Over her career, she’s worked as a special education teacher, inclusive resource specialist and assistant principal.

“I believe that in order for all students to learn at high levels, it is incumbent for staff to work in strong collaborative teams so that we can learn from one another,” she wrote.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at