Photo Courtesy of Prince George's County Public Schools

Meet The First Female Prince George's County Native To Lead PGCPS

August 9, 2019

By Scott Gelman

Monica Goldson sat in church in January 2018 as the pastor delivered a sermon about reimagining yourself. 

Goldson, who served as the deputy superintendent of learning for Prince George’s County Public Schools at the time, imagined she would enter retirement in that role. She looked forward to the challenges that developing a curriculum presented. 

But on the drive to her mom’s house after hearing the sermon, Goldson reflected on the ways the sermon applied to her. She considered the value of becoming the school system’s superintendent. She didn’t want to be complacent. 

Immediately, Goldson wrote herself a memo that said “reimagine yourself.” 

Now more than a year later, the county executive appointed Goldson the system’s chief executive officer. Goldson, who grew up in the district, is the first woman from Prince George’s County to lead the school system. 

“I never thought my own district that I grew up in would ever be available to me,” Goldson told WPGC. “People always looked outside the district.” 

Goldson, a three-time graduate of historically black colleges and universities, aspired to be an actuary, hoping to combine her math and business interests. She planned to teach math while continuing to hone her skills, but after the first week of school, she planned to teach exclusively. 

The news didn’t surprise Goldson’s mother, because she comes from a line of educators. 

Goldson started her career as a math teacher at Suitland High School teaching Geometry, Algebra and Calculus. She became a colleague of her high school Geometry teacher, who would name theorems after students. 

Goldson, who became the founding principal of Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School, also partnered with Prince George’s County Community College to launch a dual enrollment program. She also served as an assistant principal at Forestville and Frederick Douglass high schools. 

Still, striving to become a superintendent was a recent development. 

“Every role I remember thinking ‘in order to make the change I want, I need to make it to the next level,’” Goldson said. “Each position created a sense of wanting to do more.” 

Goldson, the interim CEO since last summer, said she’s prioritizing improving the relationship between district leadership and parents. She’s also working to build as many as 10 schools in three years and improve student achievement. She required every school to create school performance plans to achieve that goal. 

Starting this fall, 45 schools will also have mental health support for students and their families. 

And when schools open in the coming weeks, Goldson will apply the church sermon to the school district that she now oversees. 

“I am homegrown.” Goldson said. “That’s an asset instead of a liability. I sat in the same seats that students now do. We have to have a leader who is passionate about kids. We have to do right for them, and I’m an example of that.” 

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Related: Prince George's County Teachers Could Receive Raises in Next 3 Years