Harman quits school board race

Ellicott City attorney and Howard University professor declare candidacies


As the filing deadline approaches for the Board of Education election, the field has taken on some additional candidates -- and marked its first withdrawal.

The time commitment necessary for the job has forced Carmen L. Harman, 39, to drop out of the election.

Harman said after considering the time commitments of the position, she and her husband decided it would be better to withdraw from the race and run again when their children are older.

Harman, an Ellicott City mother of two and a former foreign-language teacher in Baltimore, Prince George's County and most recently at Mount Hebron High School, said she had not been planning to drop out.

"[But] my husband read that the position required 30 to 60 hours a week," she said. "He had agreed that he would watch the kids when I was at events. He saw that it was too many hours with his schedule."

Harman said day care would be too costly, and she was also uneasy putting her 1-year-old child in day care because of his food allergies.

Roger J. Lerner, a 52-year-old attorney and business adviser from Ellicott City, recently announced his intention to run for the board. Lerner, who ran unsuccessfully in 2004, said he will use his business and legal background to help him complete board tasks.

Peter A. Sola, a 65-year-old professor at Howard University and longtime resident of Columbia, said he will look at big-picture issues if elected to the school board. Sola said redistricting, teacher salaries, and reaching out to residents who do not have children in the school system are big issues.

Two years after she left the board, former Chairman Sandra H. French announced this month that she would run.

School board candidates who have filed with the Howard County Board of Elections include Tony Yount, a retired system administrator; Di Zou, a senior at Glenelg High School; Patricia S. Gordon, a current board member; Joshua M. Kaufman, the current board chairman; Frank Aquino, who ran in 2004; and Larry Cohen, a retiring school system employee.

Ellen Flynn Giles, an advocate for students, has announced that she is going to run, but has not filed.

Applicants have until July 3 to file for the election.


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