Paul G. Rudolph, president of the Anne Arundel County school board, was appointed yesterday to a second five-year term, as Gov. Parris N. Glendening followed the recommendation of a committee of local citizens.
Also yesterday, Brandon Van Bibber, 17, a soon-to-be senior at Glen Burnie High School, was named to a one-year term as the eight-member board's student member, the only student member in Maryland with the same voting privileges as his adult counterparts.
Rudolph was the choice of the School Board Nominating Convention, and Van Bibber was chosen by the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils. The governor could have ignored those recommendations - as some of his predecessors have done - but instead stuck with their suggestions.
"Paul and Brandon's diverse background of experiences will help the Anne Arundel County school system meet the educational challenges it faces," the governor said in a written statement.
"Paul's leadership as Board president and his management experience in the private sector have proven to be invaluable to the work of the Board," the statement said. "Brandon has demonstrated excellent leadership qualities both in the classroom and in his community and will be an effective voice for the students he represents."
The terms are effective immediately and the first official meeting of the new term will be held July 11.
"You have to do something worthwhile with your life," Rudolph said yesterday. "Being on the school board is extremely worthwhile."
The coming year will be a pivotal one for the Anne Arundel school board. Its members will be charged with finding a replacement for longtime Superintendent Carol S. Parham, who has said she will retire Jan. 1. Parham has run the 75,000-student school system, the fifth-largest in Maryland, for eight years.
Rudolph foresees another challenge - building a budget during increasingly tough economic times.
"We're going to have to learn to work smarter and harder with less money," he said.
Last spring, Rudolph was the only board member to oppose a program designed to boost test scores by doubling the time spent on reading in middle school. He sided with a vocal group of parents who feel that electives such as art, music and home economics are being sacrificed in favor of the added reading time.
Rudolph, 69, lives in Severna Park with his wife. He is retired, having spent 39 years as an engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corp. He has two grown daughters - one living in Houston, the other in Miami.
Van Bibber lives in Severn with his parents and two younger siblings, both of whom also attend Anne Arundel County public schools. He is a runner - having been a member of the track and cross country teams at Glen Burnie High - and a member of the National Honor Society.