Vacancy Remains On Baltimore County School Board As Superintendent Search Approaches Finish Line
BALTIMORE COUNTY - As the search for Baltimore County's next superintendent approaches the finish line, one issue remains. The Baltimore County School Board is still short one member.
Governor Wes Moore's office appointed three new members of the school board: Tiffany LaShawn Frempong, Emory Young, and Tiara Booker-Dwyer. These appointees will replace Hogan-era members: Moalie Jose, John Offerman, Russell Kuehn, and Erin Hager. The new members will be sworn in on April 18.
With four total members to be appointed by the Governor's office, the vacancy of one seat leaves the board incomplete, possibly impacting the final decision on who will be the next superintendent.
The board is composed of eight elected members and four appointed members. The latter are first recommended by the school system's nominating commission, which underwent a rigorous six-month interview process of potential candidates before submitting eight options to the Governor's office for consideration.
Naming Commission Chair, Cindy Sexton, told the Baltimore Banner that Moore's office interviewed the five nominees who were not appointed and felt that they weren't suitable for the job.
Another commission member, Julie Sugar, told the Banner she was disappointed that only three nominees were appointed.
"Hundreds of person-hours went into the selection process, and eight stellar candidates were put forward," Sugar said.
The significance of having all board members present during the deliberation process is highlighted by Yara Cheikh, President of the Baltimore County League of Women Voters. The superintendent's appointment is a pivotal decision for the school system, and the absence of one board member could affect the deliberation process's fairness and transparency.
"The vetting process by the commission is rigorous. We need to hire a new superintendent, and all of the four necessary appointees should be in place to begin those deliberations," Cheikh told the Banner.
A bill preventing this issue from arising again is awaiting Governor Moore's signature. House Bill 0210 mandates that the appointed members be selected during the presidential election and the elected members would be voted on during a gubernatorial election.
The bill also lengthens the terms for appointed members. If Moore signs the bill, the terms of the newly appointed members will end in December 2028, giving the appointees five-and-a-half years instead of four.
I'm sure he knows what he's doing. Selection can be difficult especially when dealing with thousands of kids.
Yara is Chair of the LWV Baltimore County Education Committee not the President.