Governor names four to board of education in Baltimore County

Choices said to reflect racial mix of student body

August 05, 1999|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County got four new school board members yesterday, including a black woman who will be the first to help oversee the nation's 25th-largest school system.

Named to the 12-member board by Gov. Parris N. Glendening were Carolyn Ross-Holmes, a direct-marketing specialist and Hernwood Elementary School volunteer; Jean Jung, a library media specialist from Dundalk; James Sasiadek, an educator who has worked in Baltimore City schools since 1969; and James Walker, a former teacher and principal.

"The range and cumulative years of experience held by these four new members will prove to be extremely beneficial to the children of Baltimore County," said Glendening, who made the selections based on input from community groups and local politicians.

In a separate action, the governor reappointed board Vice President Phyllis Ettinger to a second, five-year term. Ettinger, who lives in Timonium, has been active in Baltimore County schools for years, serving as a PTA president.

With the appointment of Ross-Holmes and Walker, who are black, the school board will continue to reflect the county's racial mix, said former board President Dunbar Brooks, who is also black but could not be reappointed because he had served two terms.

Another black board member, Robert Dashiell, was not reappointed. The term of Warren Hayman, who is black, expires in 2001.

"This way the board is much more reflective of the composition of the school system and the general presence of minorities in the county," Brooks said.

The new members, who will be sworn in at the next school board meeting on Tuesday, replace Katharine Cohn and Paul Cunningham.

At the Tuesday session, the new board is expected to review a proposed capital budget, which could set a construction and repair schedule for the school year ending in 2001.

New members will need to work fast to learn about the school system, Brooks said.

"They'll have to get used to the fact that a considerable amount of their time will be consumed by school board business," he said. Besides school renovation projects -- part of the county's eight-year, $530 million repair and construction program -- new members might be choosing the county's next superintendent. Superintendent Anthony Marchione, 67, who has been at the helm of the system since 1996, is expected to announce soon whether he will retire.

School system officials had been waiting for the governor's appointments for more than a month. At a July meeting, board members voted Ettinger vice president though her reappointment was pending.

Linda Olszewski, president of the PTA Council of Baltimore County, said yesterday she is not familiar with either Jung or Walker, but she applauded the appointments of Ross-Holmes and Sasiadek, saying they will provide much-needed parents' perspective on the board.

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