Markoe is coming into a system with nine elementary schools, three junior high schools, and one high school. Jefferson County has 6,700 students.
Board President Peter H. Dougherty said Markoe's experience in Frederick County with improving schools while at the same time handling an increased number of students was a factor in his hiring.
"The next few years are bringing change to the county school system with a construction program, the move to a middle school system and the implementation of all-day kindergarten," Dougherty said.
"Jefferson County is beginning to see the growth that Frederick County has had," Markoe said. "We've been through it. It's really exciting to me to help meet the challenges that Jefferson County schools are facing."
"There's a lot of nice things going on," Markoe said.
Markoe started as a physical education teacher in Prince George's County, Md., after graduating in 1966 from the University of Maryland.
He had decided to become a teacher because he wanted to work with students and was interested in coaching, he said. He played offensive guard for the college football team in 1964 and 1965.
His father had been a firefighter and his mother a government worker in Washington, D.C., but both he and his brother decided to become teachers, Markoe said.
He worked his way up the system to vice principal, principal and then in 1993 was named associate superintendent.
A friend had told him recently about the job opening in Jefferson County and that it sounded ideal for him, Markoe said.
Markoe said he decided to apply and was selected from 25 candidates. His annual salary will be $74,000.
Markoe said he will be moving to Jefferson County to live.
Romine is retiring as of June 30 after 33 years as an educator.
"Mr. Romine has done a magnificent job," Dougherty said.