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BCPS’ Newly Appointed Board Member, Emory Young. Photo Source: BCPS Spotlight
Hitting the Ground Running, While Putting Students and Teachers First
At the close of Thursday’s PTA Council of Baltimore County meeting, Council President, Emory Young, announced his appointment to Baltimore County’s Education Board. And less than one week later, the advocacy leader will be seated as a Board member, representing District 2.
Young is replacing Marisol Johnson who resigned in June.
Hitting the ground running on Tuesday, Young will swear in and participate in his first Board of Education meeting as a Board member, later that night.
“I’m excited. It’s a lot. I’ll be sworn in and then will be jumping right in, getting right to work,” Young said.
Known as a thoughtful advocate for education, Young has a track record of balanced and levelheaded leadership for Baltimore County’s children and parents. “Emory will be a strong voice for the parents of Baltimore County,” said Leslie Weber, Communications Chair for the PTA Council and co-founder of Advocates for Baltimore County Schools (ABC Schools), the largest public education advocacy coalition in the county. “He has a long history with the PTA. He rolled up his sleeves and has worked very hard.”
Years ago, while volunteering for his children’s school PTA, “hanging back, moving tables around with the other dads,” there came a point when the PTA was looking for leadership. Young decided to “give it a go.” First serving as Vice President for one year, then Treasurer for two, Young was engaged, both in his local leadership roles and later with the PTA Council for Baltimore County. When it came time for new leadership at the County level, he became the obvious choice for the County’s PTA Council President.
Prior to that, from 2011 to 2014, Young served on the Council’s Nominating Committee and was chair of the Maryland PTA’s Nominating and Board Development Committee. He has been on the Maryland PTA Board of Directors since 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education Superintendent’s Family Engagement Council since 2016, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and is involved as a troop committee member in the Boy Scouts of America’s Baltimore Area Council.
Young is intimately familiar with educational issues, the needs of students and staff, and the goings on of Baltimore County Public Schools.
When asked what his focus will be on the Board, Young told the Post that discipline, safe facilities and equitable resources are his top priorities.
“Baltimore County is a very good school system,” Young said. “But it is a large system and there are disparities across the county. Education is important. The right tools and the right environment are needed for everyone concerned. Safety for everyone is a concern.”
Young would also like to see the Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs available at Baltimore County’s schools made more widely known and available to all students in the county. Equitable access to educational opportunities system-wide, beyond the availability of the system’s great magnet programs, is important to Young.
Young is a native of North Carolina, graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and received his Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University in Electrical Engineering. Employed by Verizon since 1996, Young is a distinguished member of their technical staff. The engineer has been happily married for 18 years and is father to two Baltimore County students.
When asked how parents can become more involved with the school system and in advocating for their children, Young advised that parents should “understand their rights and responsibilities as parents, making sure to read the student handbook and really look at what (they) are signing,” he said.
As for advocacy, Young said to speak up and ask questions when not understanding. “If you don’t get an answer or it is not clear to you, keep asking.”
Above all, Young advised that parents should seek to “understand the process behind how decisions are made” in the school system.
Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting begins at 6:30pm at the Greenwood campus. The meeting will be livestreamed here.