School board chief wins Willis award

July 29, 1992|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Staff Writer

Deborah D. Kendig, chairwoman of the Howard County Board of Education, has won the Charles W. Willis Memorial Award for outstanding school board service.

Ms. Kendig, who was chosen by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, will receive the award Sept. 17 during the MABE Conference at the Loews Annapolis Hotel.

"It's peer recognition," Ms. Kendig said of the honor. "While an annual award, there are more people in education than are recognized annually."

The Willis Award is presented to one Maryland school board member each year in memory of the association's first full-time executive director, Charles W. Willis.

Ms. Kendig is the third Howard County resident to receive the award. Fred Schoenbrodt won the first award in 1979, and Gertrude Christ was honored in 1983.

Ms. Kendig was selected for her contribution to education and her leadership skills, said MABE Executive Director Susan Buswell.

"She's particularly strong in reflecting leadership to staff and community," said Ms. Buswell."She has been an active lobbyist."

During the past decade, Ms. Kendig has served as both chairwoman and vice chairwoman of the Howard County Board of Education.

The mother of three, she began her educational career as a library volunteer at the former Rockland Elementary School where she was chosen PTA president in 1979.

She also has worked as chairwoman of the MABE legislative committee, including a stint on the governor's Task Force on the Funding of Special Education.

"I enjoy it," Ms. Kendig said of her career. "I like the people. It's been an education in itself."

However, she won't seek re-election when her term expires in 1994.

"Twelve years is enough," Ms. Kendig said. "It's time for new community."

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