If experience counts, filling a vacant seat on the county school board ought to be easy.
Among seven candidates for the legislative District 33 Board of Education seat are three retired principals and a former board member.
At a news conference Wednesday night in Crofton, the candidates fielded questions about how they would lead the school system through one of its most difficult periods. All seven offered their strategiesfor dealing with the current $8 million budget deficit, a reduced budget next year and contract disputes with all four school employee unions.
"For the last 15 years I've been a businessman," Thomas F. Angelis, a Davidsonville sales representative said. "I've learned to look at the bottom line. I learned that when times are tough you tend to become creative. We have to look at the bottom line a little more.We have to see if there are other ways to bring in revenue."
But former school board member Jane L. Andrew, who is seeking a second five-year term, defended the actions of current board members.
"I amabsolutely convinced that the cuts are necessary," she said. "The board has been able to hold fast in keeping class size down. The board has resisted what other boards have done in throwing more kids into aclassroom or hiring inexperienced teachers."
Alan G. Levin, a retired principal from South River Evening High School and Annapolis Junior High said he would opt for school redistricting based on shiftingpopulations and redistributing unused equipment in order to reduce costs.
"Money should be spent on students and instruction," Levin said.
Board President Nancy Gist and outgoing member Patricia Huecker attended the meeting, along with five representatives from community groups that will be among delegates nominating three picks to Gov.William Donald Schaefer.
Seventy community, religious and civic organizations have signed up to participate in the School Board Nominating Convention. Public hearings are scheduled for 7 p.m. April 4 at Annapolis High, April 10 at Old Mill High and April 16 at North County High. The nominating convention will be held May 1 at Severna Park High.
The conventions recommendations will be forwarded to the governor, who will make a decision based, in part, on the advice of County Executive Robert R. Neall. Neall has agreed to work with the convention, which was slighted over the last few years when former Executive O. James Lighthizer recommended applicants who bypassed the convention process or were not among its top candidates.
School board candidates include:
* Jane L. Andrew of Severna Park, married with six children, a part-time legal assistant and school board member from1983 to 1989. She is a part-time student at Anne Arundel Community College. She is sponsored by the Ferndale Elementary Parent Teacher Association.
* Thomas F. Angelis of Davidsonville, married with two sons, is a restaurant supply company sales representative with a bachelor's degree in government and an associate degree in law enforcement from American University. He is sponsored by the Central Middle School Parent Teacher Student Organization and the Davidsonville Area Civic Association.
* Alan G. Levin of Crofton, married with one daughter, is a retired county principal. He has a master's degree in administration and supervision from Bucknell University and a bachelor's in education from Wilkes College. He is sponsored by the Crofton Civic Association and Holly Hill Civic Association.
* Thomas Maxwell of Crownsville, divorced with four children, is a retired county principal with a bachelor's in educational psychology from Roanoke College and a master's in educational administration supervision from the University of Maryland.
* Ronald L. Ruffo of Crownsville, married with five children, is a retired county principal who earned a bachelor's in education from Frostburg State Teachers College and a master'sin education at the University of Maryland College Park. He is sponsored by Old Mill Middle South Parent Teacher Student Association.
* Maureen Carr York of Severna Park, married with two daughters, is an attorney and registered nurse. She earned a bachelor's in nursing from Catholic University and graduated from Georgetown University's law school. She is sponsored by Benfield Elementary PTA.
* William A. Xenakis of Severn, married with four children, is assistant director of off-campus programs at the University of Maryland University College. He earned a doctorate in education and a master's at the University of Southern California and a bachelor's in math from Boston University.