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Former Superintendent Joshua Starr to Lead Phi Delta Kappa International

Joshua Starr, a former superintendent of the Montgomery County, Md., school system, is set to become the next leader of Phi Delta Kappa International.

The Arlington, Va.-based organization announced today that Starr will succeed current CEO William Bushaw in early June.

The news comes roughly three months after Starr stepped down as Montgomery County schools chief after "failing to convince a majority of the school board that he was leading Maryland's largest school system in the right direction," the Washington Post reported.

Starr had led the 154,000-student school district in suburban Washington since 2011. Starr, 45, served for six years as superintendent of the Stamford, Conn., school system prior to leading Montgomery County.

"Moving into the future will require a leader who can foster an organizational culture that is innovative, nimble, and entrepreneurial. We believe we have found that person in Joshua Starr," Patricia Williams, chairwoman of the Phi Delta Kappa International board of directors said in a statement.

Phi Delta Kappa International is best known for its flagship magazine, Kappan, and annual poll, conducted in partnership with Gallup Inc., that gauges the public's attitudes of public schools. According to a company release, the organization "recently completed a reimagining effort to develop a new strategic direction."

"As PDK is reimagining its role, I'm excited to leverage its resources, expertise, and energy," Starr said in a statement.

"Our focus should always be on what the children in our classrooms need to reach standards that are very different from expectations of the past. (Phi Delta Kappa) is uniquely positioned to lead that conversation in this country."

Meanwhile, his former employer's search for his successor has hit a roadblock.

Houston Independent School District chief academic officer Andrew Houlihan, the Montgomery County school board's preferred candidate to lead the school system, withdrew his candidacy over the weekend.

Montgomery County and Houston are among the nation's 20 largest school districts.

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