MCPS Superintendent Monifa McKnight introduces some of the guests at the special assembly. Credit: Milken Family Foundation

Monifa McKnight, Montgomery County Public Schools’ superintendent, is back in the office after she was out on leave for about a week following hospitalization due to a medical condition in October.

In a Nov. 3 email provided to MoCo360 by the school system, McKnight informed MCPS staff that she had returned to work. McKnight wrote, “I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the many of you who sent well-wishes as I returned home and continued recuperating from hospitalization.”

She added, “it is wonderful to feel the energy of Montgomery County Public Schools again.”

While McKnight was gone, MCPS Chief Operating Officer Brian Hull served as the acting superintendent. Hull has served as the COO at MCPS since August 2022, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A spokesperson for MCPS did not immediately respond to inquiries about the exact date McKnight returned to office.

McKnight returns to the school system at a time when it has been grappling with serious security incidents including multiple bomb threats, a student bringing a loaded handgun to schools and hate-based graffiti.


The school system is also working to rebuild the trust of the community in the wake of its mishandling of an investigation in the alleged sexual misconduct by an MCPS principal, Joel Beidleman.

McKnight’s email to staff noted that “vital actions” were underway in reforming the school system’s promotions and appointments process, support for staff and the climate and culture of the workplace. The email did not specify what those actions were but shared that the district was “establishing a ‘community of practice’” to begin addressing those reforms.