Morgan professor wants to fill school board term Bury was 1995 choice of nominating group

June 26, 1996|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Janet Bury, the top vote-getter at last year's Anne Arundel County School Board Nominating Convention, wants to fill the unexpired term of board member Thomas R. Twombly.

"I was interested when I ran, and I still am," said Bury, 55, a Brooklyn Park resident and speech and communications professor at Morgan State University.

But, she said, she will not go through another monthlong nominating convention to secure a seat.

With the backing of District 31's influential senator, she may not have to.

"I've talked to the [governor's] appointment office and asked would they consider her," said Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, the Brooklyn Park Democrat.

Governors typically have chosen someone who did not win the nominating convention or picked a person who did not go through the selection process at all.

Jimeno's lobbying last year helped Twombly win a second term, despite the fact that he was not the convention's choice and was opposed by County Executive John G. Gary. Twombly quit the board June 19.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening has two other selections to make: a board member for the Severna Park-Crofton area to serve five years and a student member to serve one year. Both terms start July 1.

Bury is a newcomer to school issues locally but not to community work. She was supported by the Belle Grove Improvement Association, and is its former secretary. She has no children, but said, "I don't think you have to be a parent to understand the importance of education."

A former teacher in Catholic schools and VISTA participant, she weathered criticism that she was too close to teachers. She said her priorities included getting computers for elementary schools and motivating and helping marginal students.

She garnered 44 votes for the District 31 seat last year. Pasadena residents Twombly and Nancy M. Schrum tied for second place.

Schrum also is interested in the seat, but said she will not lobby PTC for it -- and knows that she is a political underdog.

After Jimeno backed her for a board seat two years ago and she did not win the appointment, she challenged him in the state Senate race as a Republican. Last year, she had the backing of Gary, also a Republican, but did not win.

A longtime Bodkin Elementary School activist, she said plans to send her children to private school would not pose a conflict for a public school board member.

"It would give me a good comparison," she said, noting that plenty of public school teachers enroll their children in private schools.

Pub Date: 6/26/96

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