Business, Education

Maryland State Department of Education announces new leadership team

BALTIMORE, MD—Reimagining the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future era, Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury has appointed four new members to his leadership team: Dr. Deann Collins, Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning; Krishnanda (Krishna) Tallur, Deputy Superintendent of Operations; Justin Dayhoff, Assistant Superintendent of Financial Planning, Operations, and Strategy; and Mike Herschenfeld, Senior Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Continuous Improvement.

Approved by the Maryland State Board of Education in a special meeting last Wednesday, the new educator-leaders will join MSDE in the coming weeks.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we are assessing and expanding our capacity and growing the team needed to implement the once-in-a-generation opportunity presented by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “I am excited to bring the talents of these four dynamic, experienced, and highly effective educators to MSDE. They are proven game-changers in their fields of expertise, and will help steer the future of Maryland education.”

Dr. Deann M. Collins will lead MSDE’s charge to accelerate student achievement as Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. Currently serving as Director of the Division of Early Childhood and Title I Programs, and Recovery Funds for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Dr. Collins has worked in the field of education for more than two decades. She previously served as Executive Director to the Deputy Superintendent for MCPS, classroom teacher, staff development teacher, Pre-K–12 school improvement specialist, assistant principal, and principal. Dr. Collins earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Bowie State University.

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Krishnanda (Krishna) Tallur joins MSDE as Deputy Superintendent of Operations and will oversee the divisions of Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement and Contract Management, and Facilities. With more than 18 years of service with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), he has most recently served as the Director of Employee Retiree Services administering payroll, benefit, retirement, and other personnel services to over 24,000 employees and 14,000 retirees. Krishna graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics/Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Hood College.

Justin Dayhoff joins the MSDE team as Assistant Superintendent of Financial Planning, Operations, and Strategy. In this role, he will support the annual budget planning processes and operations, oversee a new Office of Grants Administration and Compliance, and launch a new professional development work stream for local school systems dedicated to financial planning, equity and strategy. His focus in school finance emphasizes school, district, and state budgets and funding models that help advance fiscal equity for students. After working for a local school district where he designed and implemented funding formulas, Justin founded the company Equiday to help scale strategic resource allocation to districts across the United States. Following Equiday’s acquisition by Baltimore-based Allovue, Justin has helped lead, counsel, and implement strategic allocation, budget initiatives, and resource management in many of the country’s largest schools districts. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Education Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mike Herschenfeld joins MSDE as the Senior Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Continuous Improvement, who will oversee our new Office of Strategic Planning and Continuous Improvement, which will manage MSDE’s multiyear strategic plan and Blueprint for Maryland’s Future initiatives. Mike has served as the CEO of BlueScope Group, an education consulting firm, for the past three years and prior to that the Manager of District Strategy and Innovation at the Texas Education Agency (TEA). At the TEA, he led the design and continuous improvement of the System of Great Schools Network, the Transformation Zone program, and supported school district leadership across Texas through innovative change management. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.

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