School board to get new president BALTIMORE COUNTY

June 29, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

Rosalie Hellman, embattled president of the Baltimore County school board, said after an unannounced meeting last night that a new president will be chosen July 6.

Alan M. Leberknight, president and chief executive officer of Bank of Baltimore and a board member for three years, is likely to be the new president, Mrs. Hellman and two other sources said. Mr. Leberknight, 51, refused to confirm that.

Mrs. Hellman said the change is routine and was not prompted by the furor over Superintendent Stuart Berger's management style or changes he has begun in the 93,000-student system.

Last night, she said she told her colleagues last July, when she was selected president for the third year, that this would be her last term.

The information came out after the unannounced meeting at board headquarters, during which eight of the nine members discussed problems with four former board presidents. A reporter was admitted to the meeting after knocking on the closed doors.

The board did not announce the meeting, as required by law, despite a general inquiry yesterday from a Sun reporter asking about future events.

Mrs. Hellman said the hastily called meeting wasn't announced because she didn't learn about it until Sunday night, but she agreed that it should have been open.

All but two of the county's senators and E. Farrell Maddox, chairman of the House delegation, held a separate meeting last night to discuss the school controversy. They decided to request a meeting next week with the board's leadership and Dr. Berger to get their own answers to the barrage of questions they have received from angry constituents.

The group included Republican Sen. F. Vernon Boozer of Towson, Thomas L. Bromwell, a Fullerton Democrat who is chairman of the Senate delegation and Democratic Sens. Paula C. Hollinger of Pikesville-Owings Mills, Janice Piccinini of North County and Michael Collins of Essex.

After meeting for 10 minutes behind closed doors to discuss what Mr. Bromwell said were "personnel matters," they opened their meeting to discuss notions of how to address the controversy over the county schools.

Mr. Boozer, who came late and missed the closed portion of the meeting, said he was skeptical that Dr. Berger retains enough credibility to stay in his job.

Ms. Piccinini has called for removing all board members and the superintendent. Her colleagues have urged a calm seeking of facts from board members and Dr. Berger.

At the board meeting, Donald E. Pearce, a former president of the board, said he believes much of the problem rests with Dr. Berger's "dictatorial style" and is "much, much deeper" than specific questions over inclusion of special education students in regular classes or staff reassignments.

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