Late entries put school board candidate total at 14

At the deadline, Allen Dyer, Marcelino Bedolla, Donald Marston file to run


With three last-minute entries -- including two candidates who ran unsuccessfully in 2000 -- the slate of candidates running the Howard County Board of Education is set.

The latest additions, who signed up Monday, the filing deadline, brings the total number of candidates to 14.

Allen Dyer, 59, a lawyer and computer consultant, said this election is important because of the board's expansion from five to seven members.

"The transition is critical," Dyer said, adding that a majority of the board's seats are up for election.

Dyer, who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2000, wants the board to be more financially responsible.

"As the size of the system has grown, the Board of Education has not grown in their ability to be proper trustees," said the Glenelg resident, referring to what he considered mismanagement of tax dollars to address a legal challenge against a wastewater treatment plant that was essential to an addition at Glenelg High School.

"All of those people [taxpayers] deserve the respect of their dollars being spent properly," Dyer said.

Marcelino M. Bedolla, a 69-year-old science teacher in Baltimore, is concerned with teacher benefits and finding ways to make it affordable for teachers to live in the county.

"We need to find new ways for new teachers to get vested in the county," said Bedolla, who lives in Columbia.

Bedolla, whose three children graduated from Howard County high schools, also wants to address assessment tests and their effects on students who speak English as a second language.

"These students need additional support to help them get through mandated tests," he said.

Newcomer Donald Byrd Marston Jr. of West Friendship also filed to run for the board Monday.

Paul Aliprando of Ellicott City filed with the Howard County Board of Elections on June 26.

Carmen L. Harman, an Ellicott City mother of two and a former foreign-language teacher in several school systems, dropped out of the race in May.

The other candidates are Roger J. Lerner, an attorney and business adviser; Peter A. Sola, a professor at Howard University; former school board Chairman Sandra H. French; 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; Larry Cohen, a retiring school system employee; and Ellen Flynn Giles, an advocate for students.

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