Hoping renewed interest in the School Board Nominating Convention iscontagious, delegates will vote tonight for their top two choices tofill a seat that will be vacant this summer.
The convention is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Severna Park Senior High School.
With a promise from County Executive Robert R. Neall to recommendone of the convention's choices to Gov. William Donald Schaefer, whomust make the ultimate decision, delegates are optimistic their votewill have a strong influence on the person selected to replace boardmember Patricia Huecker.
Seven candidates are vying for the seat representing legislativeDistrict 33.
In an open letter in March, Neall promised to support the convention, but not necessarily to recommend the nominee who gets the most votes.
During his last three years in office, former County Executive O. James Lighthizer's recommendations -- who were then appointed by the governor -- did not participate in the convention or were not the top pick.
Candidates this year include retired county administrators, a former school board member, a salesman and an attorney.
The names of the top two vote-getters will be submitted for the governor's decision.
During three public hearings in April, candidates were quizzed on school issues ranging from the need for school nurses to balancing the budget.
Seventy community, religious and civic organizations have signed up to participate in the convention.
The seven candidates for the position are:
* Jane L. Andrew of Severna Park, married with six children, is a part-time legal assistant and served on the school board from 1983 to 1989. She says she wants to maintain adequate teacher-student ratios. "What happens in the classroom is where it begins. I'm not ready to be second best."
* Thomas F. Angelis of Davidsonville, married with two sons, is a restaurant supply company sales representative. He says the school board must learn to do more with what it alreadyhas. "We have to look at our budget better."
* Alan G. Levin of Crofton, married with one daughter, is a retired county principal. He stresses that all county schools need to be treated fairly. "I would like to see all students succeed in life and school."
* Thomas Maxwell of Crownsville, divorced with four children, is also a retired county principal. He has stressed the need to listen as a board member. "An effective board member should be one who listens."
* Ronald L. Ruffo of Crownsville, married with five children, is yet another retired county principal. He supports the Maryland School Performance Program, which requires that students pass tests in four basic skill areas before graduation, but does not believe the curriculum should be built around it. "I don't believe we should be teaching to the test."
* Maureen Carr York of Severna Park, married with two daughters, is an attorney and registered nurse. She stresses servicing students at all levels, from gifted and talented to at-risk as well as the average student. "We have to bring out the best in all students."
*William A. Xenakis of Severn, married with four children, is assistant director of off-campus programs at the University of Maryland University College. He believes in strong parental involvement. "Parentsneed to be sought after to share experiences in classroom."