Boards of education in Cecil and Harford get new members

Ehrlich's appointees include businessman, former teacher, engineer

August 05, 2004|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Patrick Hess, an Aberdeen businessman, and Lee Merrell, an Army environmental engineer based at Aberdeen Proving Ground, have been appointed to the Harford County Board of Education by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the governor's office announced yesterday.

The governor's office also announced yesterday the appointment of Stewart C. Wilson, 47, to the Cecil County Board of Education.

Hess, 48, of Fallston replaces Karen L. Wolf, who resigned from the board in January.

He is president and chief executive of Operations Management Inc. and WDPB Inc. in Aberdeen, which operate nine Denny's restaurant franchises in Harford and five other Maryland counties.

He said he will bring a business sense to the school board.

"I'm a self-employed businessman. I've been in business for the past 20 years," Hess said. "I work with budgets. I manage people, I oversee a staff of 400 people."

Completing term

Hess will complete Wolf's term, which expires June 30, 2006, said Donald R. Morrison, a spokesman for the Harford County public schools. "At that time he can be reappointed," Morrison said.

Merrell is chief of the Environmental Compliance Branch of the Army's Environmental Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

He said his office, which provides support to the Army's Pentagon-based director of environmental programs, helps the Army meet standards and regulations associated with federal clean-air and clean-water laws.

`Budget background'

"I've spent the last 25 years, one way or the other, working on budgeting issues for the federal government," he said. "I have a budget background."

Merrell said he hopes to be able to help prepare "school budgets that are easier for people to understand."

The 57-year-old Havre de Grace resident has also served on Harford's Budget Advisory Committee, a seven-member panel that advises the county executive on budget issues.

Merrell replaces Robert S. Magee, whose term on the board expired in June.

Robert B. Thomas Jr., the school board president, said both men "will bring a fresh perspective to the board. Both will be welcome additions to the board," he said.

Thomas said the two new members will be sworn in for the Sept. 13 meeting.

Teaching experience

Wilson, the Cecil appointee, is a resident of North East. He is coordinator of health, physical education and driver education at the Charter School of Wilmington, Del.

Wilson said he has 15 years of experience as a teacher in high schools, middle schools and elementary schools.

He has also operated a construction company and sold real estate.

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