Maureen Carr York, an attorney and registered nurse from Severna Park, was the candidate of choice at Wednesday night's School Board Nominating Convention.
York, 37, defeated former board member Jane Andrew by nearly 2-to-1, 67 votes to 35.
The names of both York and Andrew will be submitted to Gov. William Donald Schaefer for consideration in appointing a successor to board member Patricia Huecker, forbidden by law from serving a third five-year term.
"I'd like to thank the delegates for their votes," York said after her victory was announced to the crowd at Severna Park High School. "I consider their votes a vote of confidence for the jobthat I might be able to do for county students."
If appointed, "Iwill work within the budget constraints to provide as many creative programs as we can," she said, "and I will do what Ican to see that no single group is disproportionately shortchanged because of belt-tightening."
York's victory came as a mild surprise. Andrew, 50, who served on the board from 1982 to 1989,had been the overwhelming pickof the convention two years ago but was passed over in favor of Jo Ann Tollenger, the choice of former County Executive O. James Lighthizer. Tollenger did not participate in the convention process.
Lighthizer's successor, Robert R. Neall, attended Wednesday's convention. He has promised to urge the governor to pick from the convention's list of candidates.
"She's very eloquent, very enthusiastic and a strong candidate," York supporter Sue Quintero of the Benfield PTA saidafter the vote was announced. "She can get her point across well, and the fact that she's a lawyer made me feel that she could relate school concerns to the County Council."
Backed by a vocal group of supporters that followed her to each of the three pre-convention hearings, York presented herself to the delegates as someone who understands the needs of all children.
Andrew, however, refused to concede.
"It's in the governor's hands. I'm not defeated yet," she said.
"I was second the first time I was appointed, I was second the second time I was appointed," she added. "Last time I was first and not appointed; maybe this is the lucky three."
After finishing second atthe 1982 convention, Andrew was appointed to the board in December 1982 to fill the term of Maureen Lamb, who had just been elected to the County Council.
She was appointed to her own five-year term in 1984, despite again finishing second, this time to newcomer Robert Bruce Guild of Annapolis, at the convention.
Sue Cecere, from the Unitarian Church of Anne Arundel County in Annapolis, said, "I supportedAndrew because I feel she's really experienced, I liked her answers and didn't feel that she was making a political speech. She was presenting things the way they really are."
Ronald L. Ruffo of Crownsville finished third with 15 votes, followed by Thomas F. Angelis of Davidsonville and William A. Xenakis of Severn, with nine each; Alan G.Levin of Crofton with six; and Thomas Maxwell of Crownsville with three.
Delegates from 65 church, school and civic organizations attended this year's convention.