New Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr (right) speaks to reporters Wednesday.
Starr earned a reputation for being combative with school board members and parents while superintendent in Stamford, Connecticut. He doesn't run from that label.
"As David Humes said 'Truth springs from arguments among friends,'" Starr says in an interview. "And in order to do this job well, you have to be honest, and you have to be engaged in discussing really really difficult issues. And I think that's healthy."
Starr will get an early test when he starts dealing with the Montgomery County Council, which is looking to change a state law that forces localities to spend more on schools each successive year. It's an attempt to slow or cut spending on schools. Starr says keeping student performance high is the best way to keep taxpayers on his side.
"The superintendent and the school board have a sacred trust with the taxpayers in Montgomery County, and you want to make sure you get a really good return on investment," he says.
Starr's first day on the job is July 1, but until then, Montgomery County parents and students can follow him on Twitter.