Maryland volunteer office has new chief Margaret O'Neill named to replace David Minges

July 18, 1996|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,SUN STAFF

Margaret O'Neill, who helped direct the program of required community service for Maryland high school students, has been named executive director of the Governor's Office of Volunteerism, effective Aug. 1.

She will replace David Minges, who was executive director of the office for 3 1/2 years. The office is the umbrella for Maryland's service programs, including Volunteer Maryland and the Governor's Commission on Service.

Her successor as acting head of the Maryland Student Service Alliance will be Luke Frazier, public affairs coordinator and veteran of nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts and in Washington.

O'Neill was named by Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, with whom she helped form the alliance in 1988 and who directed it herself for a time. O'Neill has been with the alliance since 1988 and ran it for the past three years.

She is a graduate of St. Mary's College in South Bend, Ind., and has a master's degree in education policy and administration from the University of Maryland College Park. She is a former high school teacher and operated a program where students learned through volunteering.

She will be paid $60,000 a year.

"I hope to continue nurturing service and volunteerism in Maryland," O'Neill said. "We will focus on service learning for kids, after-school activities and community policing."

O'Neill described Maryland as ahead of many states in the spirit of service: the only state with a high school service requirement, the state with the biggest recognition day for volunteers (20,000 will be honored Aug. 25 at the state fair) and one of the few states with a governor's volunteers office.

The alliance is a private foundation working with the state Department of Education to implement the high school graduates' 75-hour service requirement.

Minges, who was appointed by Gov. William Donald Schaefer, said he was likely to continue working elsewhere for the state or for a private nonprofit group.

Seniors graduating next June are the first to be required to have completed the 75 hours of service.

Frazier, a former public radio reporter in Washington and a candidate for the permanent alliance job, said he will work especially with districts and schools at which incoming seniors are lacking their 75 hours.

He said schools causing "some concern" were in Baltimore and Baltimore County, but come June, he expected most seniors would qualify. O'Neill agreed.

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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