Ehrlich appoints man and woman to Baltimore County school board


News from around the Baltimore region

July 30, 2005|By Anica Butler | Anica Butler,SUN STAFF

A retired schoolteacher and a federal Defense Department police officer have been appointed to the Baltimore County school board, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced yesterday.

JoAnn Cechin Murphy and Joseph J. Pallozzi will immediately join the board for five-year terms. The two newest members of the 12-person board will replace departing member Michael Kennedy, who had served the maximum two terms, and former board President James R. Sasiadek, who had sought reappointment but was passed over.

Also appointed to the board yesterday was Gabrielle Wyatt, a senior at the Carver Center for Arts and Technology, who will serve as the student member of the board for the 2005-2006 school year.

Pallozzi, 52, works in security at the National Security Agency, is a member of the Catonsville PTA and past chairman of the school district's Southwest Area Educational Advisory Council, according to the governor's announcement. Both of his children are graduates of Catonsville High School, and Pallozzi said he has been involved with the school district for about 16 years. He said yesterday that he is excited about his appointment to the board.

"The only thing I want is a better school system for the students of Baltimore County," Pallozzi said.

Murphy is a former teacher and administrator with 30 years of experience in Baltimore County public schools, according to the governor's office. Since retiring, she has been a member of the board of the Hannah More School and is past president of the Maryland Volunteer Network. Murphy, who lives in Parkton, could not be reached to comment yesterday.

Thomas G. Grzymski, a board member since 2001 who was elected president this month, said last year's appointees meshed well with the existing board members, and he expects it will be the same with Murphy and Pallozzi.

"I think we have a pretty strong, cohesive board," he said. "We certainly welcome the new people on the board ... and look forward to working with the new board members in the future."

Sasiadek, who said he was disappointed he was not reappointed, said it's important for the board to stay focused on the children of Baltimore County.

"I wish them well," Sasiadek said. "I hope that people will keep their eyes focused on student achievement and continue the progress we've made under Dr. [Joe A.] Hairston's leadership."

Walter Hayes, chairman of the Northeast Area Educational Advisory Council and vocal proponent of a new high school to relieve crowding at Perry Hall, Towson and other high schools, has sought a seat on the board for the past two years.

"It would have been nice to be selected," Hayes said. "Maybe [the governor] wanted someone who was more diplomatic. I'm sure the people he selected will do a good job."

Hayes said he will continue to advocate for the new high school.

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