A school activist, a university teacher and supervisor, and a Comcast Cable executive were named yesterday to the Baltimore County school board, which faces a major task in finding a new superintendent.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who made the appointments, said the new members would bring first-rate experience in business, education, and community service to the 12-member board. "This mix of new members should help strengthen the board during a time of transition," he said.
The board fired Stuart Berger as superintendent this month with a $300,000 buyout and will begin a search for a successor next month.
"I'm delighted to be involved in this process," said Stephen A. Burch, one of the new board members. "I think Dr. Berger had a lot of good ideas, but they weren't communicated properly and we'll need to find someone who wants to be a builder of relationships with the community."
Mr. Burch was named to an at-large seat vacated by Terry O'Malley, and will serve the remainder of that term, which ends next June. Mr. Burch, senior vice president of Comcast Cable, Mid-Atlantic region, is the father of four children, three of whom are school age. He has a law degree from Gonzaga University.
The other new members are:
Katherine A. Cohn, who was named to the 3rd Council District seat. Mrs. Cohn is an interviewer for public health studies for a research organization. She has three school-age children and has been involved in a variety of parent-teacher programs. She is a member of the PTA executive boards at Ridgely middle and Pinewood elementary schools, and serves on an advisory committee on curriculum and instruction for the county school system. She is a graduate of Connecticut College.
Michael P. Kennedy was named to an at-large seat. He is a teacher and supervisor of student teachers at University of Maryland Baltimore County. He taught in county schools from 1959 to 1991 and is a graduate of Towson State University.
Both were appointed for five-year terms, which officially began July 1. They replace Rosalie Hellman and Alan Leberknight, who retired from the board.
Mrs. Cohn and Mr. Kennedy were among six people recommended by the county school board nominating convention.
All three new board members cited the need for a superintendent who would work closely with the community, parents and teachers in implementing programs.
Mrs. Cohn said she had been "neutral" on Dr. Berger but thought he had moved too fast.
"I liked his ideas, but not the implementation," she said. "He didn't involve others in his decisions enough.
"The new superintendent has to be deeply committed and open-minded. I'm very pleased with this appointment. I think it's imperative to have a school mother on the board."
Mrs. Cohn has children in county schools in the seventh, fourth and second grades.
Mr. Kennedy said he looked forward to working with Anthony G. Marchione, the acting school superintendent. and described him a "consensus builder."
"I think he'll contribute to the healing process and encourage the community input that has been lacking," Mr. Kennedy said.