—– By: Ann Costantino —–
Governor Larry Hogan has selected four board members for appointment to Baltimore County’s partially elected school board, completing the new 12-member board which will govern Baltimore County Public Schools as of December 3 .
After reviewing a list of nine candidates submitted to the governor’s office by a candidate nominating commission made up of local education leaders, advocates and a minority group, Gov. Hogan has chosen to appoint:
• Incumbent member, Roger Hayden – Mr. Hayden, a former Baltimore County executive, was appointed to the board by Hogan in 2017 as a member-at-large. Hayden also served on the school board in the eighties and nineties under then-Superintendent Robert Dubel. Hayden’s experience includes management in finance, operations, facilities management, transportation and business organization.
• Russell Kuehn – Baltimore County parent and longtime education advocate, Russell Kuehn, has nearly 20 years of experience in financial and information systems management for the federal government. Currently, Mr. Kuehn is a digital services specialist at the Social Security Administration, with responsibility for adaptive technology for systems improvement. Previously, he developed and managed electronic payment systems in the Treasury Department
• Moalie Jose – Ms. Jose is an engineer associated with Hazen & Sawyer in Baltimore. She has over 18 years of experience in environmental program management for public utilities in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and municipalities such as Salisbury and Rockville. In the community, she has been especially active as a board member of the Youth Water Mentoring Program (Y-H2O) in Baltimore.
• John Offerman – Mr. Offerman served 37 years as an educator in the Baltimore County Public Schools. The majority of his career was spent at Towson High School where he taught mathematics. He also served as chair of counseling and coached over 40 boys’ sports teams. In retirement from the public school system, he worked for three years as director of counseling at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore.
The four appointed at large board members will join seven elected and one student member of the board.
One third of the new board will be made up of incumbent members.
Hayden, who has served on the board since Hogan first appointed him in 2017, will join two incumbent members whose seats were secured by voters in the county’s first partial – or hybrid – elected school board election this year.
Kathleen Causey, who represents Council District 3, won her election in a landslide victory. Causey was appointed by Hogan in 2015.
Julie Henn, who was appointed by Hogan in 2016 as an at large member, ran her race uncontested after her opponent dropped out for an out-of-state job. Henn will now represent the county’s fifth council district.
Another previous member of the board will remain until her term is up in July 2019. Student member, Haleemat Adekoya, was chosen by the Baltimore County Student Council and began her one-year term on July 1.
Starting this this year, voters from the county’s seven council districts were able to elect their respective district representatives. Along with Causey and Henn, five other elected members will join the board on Dec. 3.
Special education advocate, adjunct professor and former Verizon employee, Lisa Mack, will represent Council District 1. Former FBI agent and Baltimore County school principal, Cheryl Pastuer, will represent District 2. Makeda Scott, a former congressional staffer and PTA president, will represent District 4. Longtime education and school facilities advocate, Lily Rowe, will represent District 6. And Baltimore County high school teacher, Rod McMillion, will represent District 7 on the board. McMillion will retire this week from his teaching job with the school system in order to serve on the board. McMillion taught physical education.
Prior to this year, all appointed school board members were selected by the governor. Until 2015, those board members were recommended to the governor by the Baltimore County executive.
But when Hogan took office in 2015, he looked to state senators for the recommendations. With the new hybrid elected school board this year, Hogan was charged with appointing only one third of the school board members after receiving recommendations from a nominating commission.
The Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission, comprised of roughly 20 education leaders, advocates, educators and representation from organizations such as the NAACP, League of Women voters and the Teachers Association of Baltimore County (TABCO), received roughly three dozen applications from interested applicants. From those applicants, the commission recommended nine candidates to the governor’s office. Hogan then chose the four candidates from the list presented to him.
Of his appointments, Gov. Hogan said in a press release, “Each appointee will bring unique experience to the board.” And, he said, “I have full confidence in their ability to serve the students, teachers, and people of Baltimore County well.”
The new board will convene for its first open session school board meeting on December 11.