Arundel school board member resigns before end of her term

January 08, 1994|By Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel | Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writers

Anne Arundel County school board member Jo Ann Tollenger resigned yesterday, quitting five months before the end of her five-year term.

A spokesman for Gov. William Donald Schaefer said Ms. Tollenger's resignation letter arrived yesterday but that as of 5 p.m. yesterday the governor had not read it.

Ms. Tollenger's resignation was effective immediately, leaving the board with seven members until the governor fills the post temporarily. A Severna Park resident, she was an at-large member and had indicated last year that she had no plans to seek a second term. Reached last night, Ms. Tollenger said she was leaving for personal reasons and would not elaborate.

"We've lost one of our most experienced, knowledgeable board members. Ms. Tollenger was the board member who knew the most about management, business, employee relations, labor relations. There is no one with her kind of expertise on the board," said Maureen Carr-York, who joined the school board in 1991.

Only Dorothy Chaney, in her ninth year on the school board, has been on the board longer.

Ms. Carr-York, often an ally of Ms. Tollenger, said when Ms. Tollenger told her Thursday that she was resigning, "You could have knocked me over with a feather."

"I would imagine it surprised a lot of people," Ms. Tollenger said.

The early warning did not extend to board President Thomas Twombly. He learned of Ms. Tollenger's resignation yesterday afternoon from Board of Education officials and could not explain why Ms. Tollenger would quit.

The two had been allied on many issues.

"I am disappointed at the loss of a very good board member. The board will miss her, and I thank her for her service to the children of Anne Arundel County," he said.

Ms. Tollenger is a manager for Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland.

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