The Governor has chosen Alysson Krchnavy and Dr. Leonard Wheeler to fill the two open seats on the Board of Education, circumventing the recommendations of the Harford County Board of Education Nominating Committee.
The Committee, made up of representatives from the Office of County Executive David Craig, the Harford County State Senators, the Harford County House of Delegates and the Harford County Council who had recommended retired principal Nancy Reynolds and Dr. Mohammad Reza Shahab to fill those seats.
County Councilman and Committee Chairman Richard Slutzky expressed disappointment that the work of the committee had been overruled. Slutzky noted “This demonstrates that we have no effective process for vetting or evaluating potential Board of Education candidates at the Harford County level” and that today’s announcement was a “validation of the reason why Harford County political entities and citizens are asking for an elected school board.”
Slutzky went on to say he accepted the governor’s decision and wished Krchnavy and Wheeler well, adding he hoped they would both “bring the oversight to the Board the community has hoped for.”
Alysson Krchnavy is a parent and PTA volunteer from Bel Air. Krchnavy was a participant in the Committee process, although she did not receive enough votes for a recommendation. Leonard D. Wheeler Ed.D, also of Bel Air, is retired from Baltimore City Public Schools and an Associate Professor at the College of Notre Dame. Wheeler was also a candidate for Harford County Council in District E, but lost to Slutzky in 2006.
How can anyone argue that having an elected School Board would be too political, when the current appointment process, devoid of any and all outside input, is supposedly not political?
This is the best case scenerio for finally getting legislation for an elected school board passed next year! I know nothing about either appointee, but I wish them the best and hope that they will breathe life into our BOE. Dulany-James no doubt got her picks as a result of last session’s unethical antics, but that should not be held against either person. The actions of each should be used to evaluate them as the next year unfolds.
I say it is the best case scenerio because we did what we were told to do by organizing a committee and making recommendations to the Governor. The Governor did what we said he would and ignored the recommendation. How can Dulany-James and the “few” others left on the undemocratic side of this issue argue that the Governor will respect the views of the people of Harford County? I’m sure they will, but I think this is MDJ’s last hoorah. She sold her soul, kept her power as the minority democrat in Harford County by keeping Martin’s ear, but now what? She’s been exposed! It is now our responsibility to keep to the commitment expressed throughout last spring to oust her for the unethical behind the scenes actions she employed.
For the sake of our children, I hope the two new members don’t come in shyly and defer to the incumbents. They have an opportunity to refocus the BOE on the children by turning the spotlight on the operations and decision-making practices of the HCPS central office.
Tired of One Party rule says
The KING O’ has spoken. DAMN the serfs! Let them eat cake!
Barry Anderson says
And who says the Democrats are dead in Harford County.
Congrats to the NHDC.
The problem is as long as Pat Forester, former President of the Teachers Union, former member of the Harford County Democrat Central Committee, etc., is the gate keeper for O’Gov’s appointments, it won’t change. Leonard Wheeler was on the Democratic Central Committee with her. A lovely man by the way.
I don’t know the woman appointed but it would surprise me if she wasn’t a D.
AND, it won’t change if we have an elected BOE cause that’s politics. The Board of Ed is politics cause tax money is involved. A bunch of people deciding who gets our money to build schools and such.
Don’t you guys get it?.
The Republicans appointed who we have now and NOW the Dems are going to fill the vacancies while O’Gov is in office.
Do you honestly think that an elected BOE will be different. Maybe, but now I don’t think so.
It will just be the Teachers Union candidate from one District, the Republican’s candidate from another; the real Dems candidate from another; the New Dems, the Old Dems, the North County Republicans, the Craig Republican’s candidate, etc., etc., etc. Then we have an election and here we go again.
Just a different method of achieving the same end,having group of political hacks making decisions about stuff they don’t understand and getting hosed by the “professional educators”.
Like I said before, look to New York City. That system was ruled for years by Albert Shanker and the AFT/NEA. It wasn’t until Blumberg took charge and kicked out the educators administering the system that the school system could be changed and the whole system of stakeholders- students, teachers, parents and administrators be held accountable.
It is time for a radical change in education in Harford County, in Maryland and the nation. A new paradigm exists in NYC. Let’s see what we can do with it.
If that doesn’t work there are other countries doing education far better than we that we could use as examples…those are the countries that are 1 thru 28 ahead of us worldwide.
The one true thing is our students can not compete with the rest of the world if we continue to do the SOS!
I would like to know how the governor chose the candidates. Did he, or Mr. Foerster, interview them? Did they take a recommendation from someone else? Strictly look at the resumes? Cindy, can you post the resumes for the 2 appointees? It seems that Ms. Krchnavy may be a very “unpolitical” political appointment, which is very refreshing.
Barry Anderson says
Its Ms Foerster.
Great idea Sandy. Alysson’s resume is posted now. We don’t have Leonard Wheeler’s resume because he did not go through the Nomination Committee.
The Committee was established to add transparency to the process whereby local politicians made recommendations that were necessary for an appointment. We know that every elected official on the Committee supported Nancy Reynolds, but she wasn’t named. Shouldn’t the public know which local politcian(s) supported the ones who were? Let’s see if we can get some answers.
This issue is starting to get some traction. There’s some good reaction and discussion of the governor’s decision over here:
It is simply incredible to believe that Mrs. Nancy Reynolds, a candidate with an outstanding understanding of the school system was disregarded in this manner. She has a valuable perspective as a teacher, an administrator, and a parent. O’Malley has our state sliding downward into quicksand.
The citizens and children of Harford County were robbed of the greatest opportunity for forward steps in education when the governor chose to ignore the recommendation of the nominating committee for Nancy Reynolds to serve on the Board of Education. She has 31 years of service in education and the last twenty have been in the management of schools. She has led Bel Air Middle to become a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and over the last ten years has led the students toward consistently greater gains in achievement. I would think that the governer would want Nancy Reynolds’ insights to be a part of the Board of Education in order to increase the educational opportunities for all students in Harford County. Why was there a committee appointed? Their thorough work was completely overlooked. What needs to be done so that this doesn’t happen again?
For several days , I have attempted to clarify in my mind the decision of the Govenor to ignore the recommendations made by the committee assigned to locate those individuals who could best represent the goals of Harford County as it relates to the education of our children.
As I worked through the logic and various rationales, I found that I had to continually lower my level of confidance of the person making that decision. Ignoring the wishes of the people being represented reflects an attitude that one would not expect from the person in the highest level of state government.
“It’s politics” is the only answer that surfacing. When “it’s politics” becomes the leading decision making process for our children, it is time to get of the couches and chairs and defeat those who believe in that process.
“It’s politics” is the motto for Baltimore City where the Goveror learned and refined his thought process and now he is ascribing that process to the education of our children. We all know how successful the educational system is in the City. Exactly what do we have to look forward to for Harford County? Our children do not deserve the “it’s politics”concept of education.
As I started this, I did not wish to make this an attack on the Govenor. As we all know, however, we can not ignore where the fault and responsibility lie.
We can no longer be a passive community. We must do whatever it takes to prevent the concept of “it’s politics” to be the guiding light for our children. We can not allow the Govenor to make Harford County the next Baltimore City.
Barry Anderson says
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You are absolutely right.
We, the people, need to rise up and take our power back.
“It’s politics” can no longer be the rule of the day.
“Change” must be the rule.
What are we, the people, willing to do to make that happen?
Don’t just sit there and read this thread and say “What a shame”.
Decide to get off your butt and do something to CHANGE the status quo.
Let’s commit to get together outside of this blog and make things happen.
It will take a lot more effort than writing here. More time. More energy.
I am convinced that we can make a difference in this and other issues that concern us if only we focus the energy that we have to this purpose.
So people, what are we willing to do?
” Why was there a committee appointed? Their thorough work was completely overlooked. ”
That is exactly the problem. The committee was “self appointed”- their advice was not solicited. The timing of the selections- both committee and gov- leads me to believe that the ultimate selection was from applications that were submitted directly to Annapolis.
This is the slippery slope that was initiated by Gov. Ehrlich when he chose to completely ignore and therefor destroy the PNC process. Historically- prior to Ehrlich’s term, the Gov did choose from the list submitted to him by a respected local process. He set the precedent. As always – what is good for the goose is deemed good for the gander. This is NOT just a Dem or Rep problem- as much as some would like to demonize one or the other. Obviously, a well considered process needs to be legislated so that it cannot be ignored by a governor of either party.
I think it is more than a bit of catastrophizing to believe that HCPS is going to turn into Baltimore City Schools just because O’Malley chose two HCPS BOE members.
We have a “well considered process” that can’t be ignored by the governor or either party it is called an ELECTION and we have the system in place to implement it. Most of the school boards in the country are elected NOT appointed. What is so unique about Harford County that we need the Governor to approve our selections?
BTW – Glendenning did his fair share of ignoring also. Robin Rich was put in after the PNC nomination (in place of someone who had been serving on the Board), as was Bob Thomas which is why this is all a flawed process. Ignoring the PNC started long ago and there is nothing to stop any governor from doing what he wants or what someone else wants him to do. I’m just wondering in this case what particular person(s) had influence on this decision. Remember the Board of Education fought the elected process and actually testitifed in Annapolis against having an elected school board. The nominating caucus was formed to be transparent, and the people who are working behind the scenes to manipulate the current political process don’t even have the courage to step up and say who they are, and what they did.
I guess we know it isn’t Republicans that have any influence so who might it have been?
The committee was “self-appointed” because Annapolis wanted applicants to have the recommendation local politician(s). As there was no formal way for any local politicians to even know who was interested to serve (applicants went directly to the governor’s office), let alone give an opinion as to which applicants had the best qualifications, the committee was formed by the Harford County Council. It was formed because there was no PNC, no election process, and no public way to review qualifications of interested candidates. The committee is set to disband as soon as ANY public selection process is allowed to Harford County residents by the grace of Annapolis, if not sooner.
Yes Elaine. The committee was formed to promote transparency- but that does not make it any less political that the gov and his advisors. What is the political affiliation of those selected by the HCC committee? Political references may have been advised but there was never any promise that they would be decisive.
IIRC , I attended the PNC that recommended Robert Thomas. He is a republican but was selected by Glendenning as a result of a PNC recommendation. As I have said before, I have some deep and abiding reservations regarding the real possibility of unintended negative consequences of a school board election. I have done some research and many jurisdictions have dealt with some serious problems with an elected BOE. There are pros and cons on both sides of this issue.
Elected school boards are political because they must go through an election cycle. But the difference is they can be voted in and then voted out by the electorate. If a school board member is doing a poor job now, there is no consequence. He/she can be in there indefinitely, regardless of what they do.
I’m a former reporter and covered an elected school board where the school board members were accountable to their constituents. They still made some unpopular decisions but were forced to listen to what I believe the HCPS condescendingly calls “stakeholders.” And not all the school board members were political hacks. I’m thinking of a young Marine who had no political ties whatsoever and was elected because he campaigned on budgetary issues.
Who are the “wise” people supposedly choosing the school board now? A voting process is a more transparent process. Do you think an elected school board would let the superintendent get away with forcing a gag order on a well-respected educator? No way.
First time comment… long time reader! Let me see if I can help clarify a few things regarding this past process…
Re: Post #4… Be surprised… I am a REPUBLICAN… been one all my life, have voted in every election and remain conservative in nature.
Re: Who supported me? I had support from both sides of the fence, and I worked hard for it. Names? Sorry … from here on out I need to be nonpartisan, and nonpolitical… I am, have been, and will always be in this for the benefit of HCPS students, staff, and community.
You know what? There were a host of wonderful general public people who wrote in or emailed to Annapolisand Bel Air in support of this appointment. These people were from across the county and from many different walks of life. You can bet that I am grateful to ALL of them and you know that I am humbled by their willingness to get involved.
Yup, and I wrote/emailed every single member of the HC Delegation – every one. I followed up with phone calls and made myself available to any of them who would be willing to speak with me regarding the BOE. About the only “political” people that I did not contact were the municipality officials (town of Bel Air, Aberdeen, HdG) and that was my mistake… I am new to this! If someone called me, I talked to them. If they emailed me… I responded in a reasonable time with the best answers I could give. I called people that I knew had been vocal about BOE and sought their advice.
Finally… I have been attending BOE mtgs regularly… in person since about the end of February. Before that, I got there sporatically… taking a rotation to represent HCCPTA. (OK- I missed St. Patrick’s Day and I really wish now that I had been there.) I have been taking notes and keeping piles of documents to prepare myself. For real… I want to make a positive difference for public education in Harford County. Thing is, one person can get things moving… all I can say is GAME ON!
Sorry if I rambled… like I said, this was my first time.
I don’t care about politics in this case except for the fact that I believe that the best candidate for a BOE position was not appointed BECAUSE of politics. Perhaps if the selection process was transparent and public, some of these candidates might have submitted their names sooner. Let’s remember the “appointment” process is process that is cloaked in secrecy and closed door deals. Ask the newly appointed board candidates who supported them and I can bet they won’t tell. Maybe it was the people who fought the election process earlier this year but they wouldn’t admit to it either. Why wasn’t Salina Williams reappointed – was it because she didn’t have the right “backers” unlike previous board members. No one seems to know how Robin Rich and Mark Wolkow got reappointed since they did it while no one was looking because no one even KNEW they could submit their names!! Maybe if the Board actually responded to people (including elected officials who are stewards of the taxpayer dollars) perhaps people would have a better opinion of them. Last year the Board President said he was going to communicate with the public and have staff members respond to every e-mail, and I have yet to meet any parent who has ever had a response to an inquiry from the Board in the past 4 years.
No system is perfect but I will pick the one that allows anyone to submit their name and all of the registered voters in that jurisdiction to decide who can best serve their needs. If this appointment process really worked, Harford County would have a former principal of a middle school to help guide the Board and the public through middle school reform, but I it is obvious that wasn’t the most important consideration nor were her many years of experience as an educator and leader in the school system. The losers in all of this are the students, parents, and taxpayers of Harford County because in the end the people who claim they don’t want politics in the school system are the ones that used politics to get what they wanted.
If there are flaws in both systems, elected and appointed, why would anyone not support elected? At least the people would have a say and also not be able to complain about not having any input. Unless of course the belief is that the public is too ignorant of the issues and would not make a good decision.
As a former administrator, one that you once referred to as a “bonehead”, I was always of the belief that the school system is not honest when they say they want parent involvement. I actually made this statement and supported it with fellow administrators when I was in the system. HCPS does not want involvement, it wants parental support. If it wanted parental involvement the parents would be included in the decision-making. Now I understand the danger of involving everyone to have input to decisions and when running a school system I understand that executive decisions have to be made. But, don’t claim you want involvement when all you want is endorsement. Parents want input. We want to have the BOE and HCPS actually listen and contemplate using our ideas instead of making a decision behind closed doors, then conducting focus groups which are poorly attended because the people realize the decision has already been made.
Having an elected BOE allows for that input. It won’t make the BOE perfect, but it will support the idea of involvement. I have four children in HCPS and I am not saying things are horrible. There is plenty of good things happening. Every system has positives and negatives. But one thing is certain, parents and community support play a huge role in the success of any system. HCPS is making a mistake by covering and waiting things out. Yes, the negative press eventually goes away, but so does the silent majority’s confidence that decisions are truly made in the “best interest of children.” When the parents feel helpless, then the system starts to fall apart.
No system can afford apathy from its parents. After all, they may not “know the complicated details of the educational system”, but they do know their children better than anyone.
Alysson K- Thanks for making your process clear. It is now pretty obvious that politics did not reign supreme in your appointment. I wish you the best in your new position and I thank you for your dedication and willingness to take on such a difficult job. I am happy that an involved parent will now sit on the HCPS BOE.
Good luck with your position. I hope that you are able to keep the parents and students in mind when you serve on the Board and not be afraid to question decisions. I am still waiting to hear how the Board is responding to the CSSRP survey they commissioned, so if you can get that dialogue started, I’d appreciate it because no one else is talking about it. School starts soon and Living in a Contemporary World ( the class that was deemed by all stakeholders to be a disaster) hasn’t changed one bit or hadn’t when school ended last month.
By your own admission, politics paid a big role in your appointment. You said you contacted and spoke to several elected officials about supporting you. What made you do that in the first place? Did Board members tell you to do that because you needed that to get appointed? How would the average citizen know what to do if they were interested since you have to call people in Annapolis? Some of the other candidates probably didn’t have the advantage of knowing that they needed months to get support from people and politicians so they were behind on that one.
I too am concerned that this process is very flawed but not surprised. I was told by many teachers years ago that the school system did whatever they wanted and didn’t listen to parents and/or teachers. They said they gave up long ago because no one cared about what they thought. Since you are active in the PTA, I hope you will bring that perspective to the Board.
Delegate Donna Stifler says
Mrs. Krchnavy took it upon herself to contact me months ago about her wishes to be on our school board. Not only that, she made herself available to meet me. Many people emailed me and wrote me as references to her character. I have spoken to her at least three times personally and recognized her willingness to serve. The only other resume I received was from Mrs. Reynolds. As Delegate Norman was the delegate at the final committee meeting, I did not vote on their recommendations. I wholeheartedly support Mrs. Krchnavy in her new endeavor, regardless of her political persuasion! She clearly has the interest of our students at heart. I am very glad to see that Dagger readers offer her their support. Her willingness to reach out to me shows me that she is willing to be held accountable for her actions on the school board. What more could we ask for?
Mrs. Krchnavy, you have my support and best wishes. Congratulations!
“The committee was “self-appointed” because Annapolis wanted applicants to have the recommendation local politician(s). ” Larry
Apparently Kate, from this post, it was known that political references were advisable.
“I guess we know it isn’t Republicans that have any influence so who might it have been? “Elaine
Mrs. Stifler and Alysson K’s posts refute this and the belief here that all appointments by O’Malley will be defacto politically partisan.
“Why wasn’t Salina Williams reappointed?” Elaine
Mrs. Williams resigned.
“I wholeheartedly support Mrs. Krchnavy in her new endeavor, regardless of her political persuasion! She clearly has the interest of our students at heart. ”
Didn’t Ms. Williams resign because she was informed she was not being reappointed?
Alysson Krchnavy, we are glad that you are a Dagger reader and have joined in the commentary. What motivated you to lobby for a seat on the BOE? Do you have specific goals for the next 5 years?
Chris, I am not privy to that information- I just know that she tendered her resignation from what I read here on the Dagger.
The way it was reported, Ms Williams did resign after being told that her services were no longer needed. I personally think it is a crying shame that she wasn’t allowed to continue. In many respect she was a “go along to get along” person but I knoiw that she can listen. That is one very nice and caring woman who would have been a good leader. She will be missed. Good luck to the new folk, you are going to need it. Trust me, folks are watching now.
curious, thanks for getting all your news from The Dagger! Salina Williams resigned as vice president when she learned she would not be reappointed. Her seat is one of the ones that will be filled by a former chair of the Democratic Central Committee and unsuccessful candidate for the County Council. Anyone who thinks politics had no role in that decision might need to be a bit more “curious” next time.
But politics is not limited to Democrats vs. Republicans, as you continually suggest. Politics is about power. An appointed board keeps power consolidated with a limited number of people. It’s understandable that those people are trying to keep it that way.
All their handwringing about the politics of elections misses the point. Appointments and elections are both political, but only elections give the citizens who pay the bills and send their kids to public school a chance to exercise a little power of their own.
Ms Krchnavy, Good luck with your term on the School Board. Please, please remember that you are your own person and please do not allow yourself to be bullied or pressured by current members of the Board or Central Office (as this will happen.)
Also, I understand that you have a younger child. Since the School Board makes decisions on middle and high school education, please speak with all of your friends and contacts who have children of these ages about issues/decisions regarding middle and high school. Whatever one’s background, reading or studying about kids and education of any age does not compare with the actual experience of living it. My personal background was in juvenile parole and corrections, psychology, sociology and special education. Despite all of my education and work experience, living with my own middle and high school students and being intimately involved in their school was still an eye opener. Please seek out the parents of this group of kids. Please also talk to the teachers of these age groups within the system. You must build good personal relationships with parents and educators outside of HCPS Central Office to get the real picture of how Board decisions affect these students.
And one last thought, please read some of the latest articles on brain development and decision making in children and adolescents. The latest research shows that teenagers’ brains function more like those of children than those of adults. The brain is not fully defineable as “adult” until around age 27. This information should be in the back of all Board members’ minds as they vote on curriculum changes. Also, 85% of all college students change their major at least once in their college career. Thank you for reading this. Good luck! Thanks for your committment to our kids.
I agree with Rebecca. Mrs. Nancy Reynolds would have been a wonderful candidate for this position. She led the students of Bel Air Middle School to achieve greatness in her time as principal. Even after retirement from her position, she declared her continued commitment to the students of Harford County. In my opinion, Mr. O’Malley has overlooked the best applicant for the Harford County BOE in order to put in his two cents.
I find it incredible that no one seemed to know about their pending appointments. I feel that if your not going to have democratic process…there should be a period for comment to be made..as fed and local rulemaking has.
If commentary comes in and the decision is made against it , it can become a matter of record.
Good one Cindy! You let me down on that one- just assumed that if you had had that particular piece of muck you would certainly have raked it – LOL!
Why would I think that politics played no role in the appointments? It most certainly did- there seems to have been a concerted effort to nominate representatives from both parties. Appointments can be balanced- election results in Harford County? Not so much…
Anyone who thinks politics has no role in AN ELECTION might need to be a bit more “curious” as well. Denigrating the intelligence of someone who holds a different point of view is seldom a good debate tactic. You surprised me twice.
curious – Surely you would not have us disregard facts simply because they undermine your point of view. Sorry if you think I insulted your intelligence (you can make fun of my name if you want ) but facts are facts.
So we agree that appointments and elections are both political. But you seem to assert that the politics of appointments are good, while the politics of elections are bad. Aside from the process differences, it boils down to where your faith lies. I have faith in the citizens of Harford County. The people you have faith in won’t even come out of the woodwork. (except for Del. Stifler)
Which elected officials are responsible for appointments to our board of education? Did any members of the board itself, which has fought elections, get involved in selecting one of their own? The public has a right to know. We may be stuck with the appointment system for now, but we can improve it with transparency.
We have asked the Governor’s Education Policy Advisor in the Appointments Office to supply this information, with no response to date. But anyone else who is interested can join the effort and e-mail Ms. Pat Foerster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lew, Jr. says
Speaking of Pat Foerster …
She is on a committee with Board member Mark Wolkow. What conversation did he have with her about this appointment process? Perhaps he could enlighten us too because I know he would want the public to know.
When have I have asked you to disregard facts? I just ask for all the facts. You persist in ignoring the fact that there are other solutions to this problem. A revised PNC process- which I have described on this forum many times -would be a step in the right direction. Way better than a committee of politicians. But you will not consider that option- perhaps it undermines your point of view?
Do you think for a mo’ that there will not be political wheelings and dealings if election becomes the reality? We have elected officials now- are all their activities and those of their nominating/campaign process transparent?
Local Guy says
Does anybody think that it is troubling that both the new candidates are residents of Bel Air? I know most of the people here are probably Bel Air residents, but isn’t there something for diversity in representation based upon geography in the County?
Salina Williams was from Aberdeen and had history in Edgewood, whereas Wheeler and K… are from Bel Air. One of the things that sold me on an elected school board was the guarentee that the whole population of the county would be represented. I think this is a great selling point to the constituents of Delegate James’s who lost a voice on the School Board because of politics.
In the original PNC process the candidate had to live in a designated district .
vietnam vet says
Bel air is where it’s. it’s where the MONEY IS! it would be nice too see some diversity.
Lew, Jr. says
The governor’s office could have appointed someone from Aberdeen but chose not to. You would think that the delegate that has the most influence in Annapolis could have found someone in her district to represent the schools there but I guess she didn’t think there was anyone qualified. Ms. Williams’ experience on the school board didn’t make her qualified though… I’m still trying to figure out what made Mr. Wheeler qualified for the job except for the fact that he was touted by special interest groups.
Having written a textbook and a specialization in vocational training apparently isn’t something the governor’s office is interested in either even though the governor himself said he wants the schools to be offer more vocational training.
Harford County Teacher says
After having worked as a teacher under the iron fist of Nancy Reynolds for many years, I would like to congratulate Governor O’Malley on his decision to not put her on the board of HCPS. She is a tyrant who practices divide and conquer strategies. She is unstable and is a very dishonest person. She stops at nothing so that she can promote herself and her selected few. Bel Air Middle School (from which she just retired) is breathing a tremendous sigh of relief knowing that we will not have to go back to school and face her and her hand selected self promoters.
I agree with the teacher about Ms.Reynold’s iron fist. I had three children go through BAMS and I felt as if it was run like a prison. I was so glad to get them out of there into PMMS. I would however vote for Nancy Reynolds as either Police Chief or Head Warden of the dentention center.
Let’s not lose sight of the focus which is that the Governor chose to ignore the recommendations of our elected officials and chose who he wanted.
Politics is a part of this process and we have to accept this.
None of us can be completely 100% certain who is going to do the best job until after they have done so…the expression Monday Morning quarterback applies here. But the nominating committee is probably the next best thing…they had the applicants’ resumes, they interviewed the applicants and they reviewed their qualifications. I suspect each of the applicants, as we all do, has pros and cons, so we have to respect the process. Unfortunately the process was ignored, and that is the maddening part of all of this.
I wish both the new appointees good luck-it is not an easy job and admire them for their willingness to step into this role.
I also can’t help appreciate the most recent MSA results, once again Bel Air Middle came out on top, despite her critics…Mrs Reynolds must have doing something right!!
I also have children who attended Bel Air Middle School and my experience with Nancy Reynolds was that she was a caring, intelligent, dedicated professional who focused on, and achieved results.
But thank you, Harford County Teacher & Maria, for highlighting yet another problem with any process that does not allow the public to express our opinions as voters and let the majority rule.
Our board is instead chosen by a very small group of unnamed officials whose identities are still not forthcoming, despite our requests, from Pat Foerster in the Governor’s Appointments Office at email@example.com
1. “I would like to congratulate Governor O’Malley on his decision to not put her on the board of HCPS. ”
2. “I would vote for Nancy Reynolds as …”
Thank you both for proving the point that 1) O’Malley is the decision maker (or someone else who has influence in the Democratic party in Annapolis) and 2) that you would choose someone else over Mrs. Reynolds IF you had a vote (which you and everyone else in this county does not). The merits of individual candidates was not relevant and it continues not to be . What continues to be relevant about the selection process is the groups or individuals who hold sway with the people in charge and it is not the voters in Harford County.
As for the defunct PNC process being so wonderful, apparently a former democractic lobbyist was chosen to be one of the new board members in Anne Arundel County over an individual who had been active in the school sytem for many years because in a PNC process, the governor and others have the ultimate decision making power. A dialogue about issues, candidates and the process yields a more informed and involved public which is why open elections are so important and transparency crucial.
Bel Air Middle School Teacher says
I was appalled as well as disappointed in the “attack” made on Mrs. Nancy Reynolds by the author of comment #41. I am one of many teachers who have worked alongside Mrs. Reynolds at BAMS during her 10-year term as principal of that school. The teacher who penned #41 does NOT speak for the entire faculty of Bel Air Middle School.
Along with MANY other staff members, I wish to compliment Mrs. Reynolds on the outstanding job she did during those ten years. She always put the best interests of the students at the top of her list. Yes, she was proud of the school’s accomplishments, as were all of us who were privileged to work with her. She encouraged us to reach farther and higher every year. She never failed to commend those teachers who were doing an outstanding job. I, for one, will miss her very much next year. I know many other members of the staff will, too. They have told me so!
As for the comments concerning Mrs. Reynold’s instability and dishonesty… NEVER!!! The author of comment #41 sinks to a new low when he/she throws around those adjectives.
You will notice that I have not used my real name – just as the author of #41 did not. That is the only similarity we share. I decline to use my name because I do not wish to return to BAMS in the fall and possibly be the recipient of a similar tirade from the vindictive, venomous individual known as a “Harford County Teacher.”
Another Bel Air Middle School Teacher says
I am also appalled by comment #41. I admire and respect Nancy Reynolds and think she was an amazing leader at Bel Air Middle.
In my opinion, people who do not like Nancy cannot meet her expectations. She expects a lot of the education community, and especially the teachers who shape the lives of children. She does not accept anything less than 100% effort. So, if you are one of those people who lays back and does a poor job you’re probably not going to get along with Mrs. Reynolds. You probably had to work harder than you wanted to.
The test scores prove that she did something right!! I personally want someone who wants the best for children on the BOE. Nancy Reynolds is a hard worker and she knows what she’s doing when it comes to education. It’s a shame that she did not get appointed.
Bel Air Middle Parent says
Three of my kids also went to Bel Air Middle and each of them had variable degrees of achievement levels. The fact that their test scores are the highest in Harford County are a testament to Mrs. Reynolds’ managerial ability and holding her teachers and students to high standards. I have the utmost respect for her and never doubted her commitment to student achievement. Her retirement is a loss to HCPS and an opportunity was missed for Harford County students when she was not chosen for the BOE.
In regard to #41, if Mrs. Reynolds was such a self-promoter, how come she couldn’t get herself on the Board?? Another question I have is why didn’t you transfer to another school if you had such difficulty in that one?
Bel Air Middle Teacher says
I have been at Bel Air Middle longer than Mrs. Reynolds, and I can attest to how she took an older, invisible school and turned it around into the invigorated, top -notch leading school in the county. Those teachers with negative comments were obviously unable to meet her high standards. I applaud her ‘iron fist’ because in a country that is being dummied down, she doesn’t accept mediocrity from her staff or her students. Maybe more administrators should be this demanding…as should parents. Both of my children went through Bel Air Middle and I would not have placed them anywhere else in the county.
O’Malley made a mistake in not appointing her….but it’s not his first, nor will it be his last. I’m sure someone will repay him these favors in a less obvious way.
Bel Air MIddle Teacher says
We should all be as concerned as Mrs. Nancy Reynolds. Maybe if the public had a say we would have our choice candidate on the board and the hardest working teachers in our schools. As far as teacher #41, let’s see your credentials thrown out for public opinion. Perhaps you would not be reappointed as a teacher.
Bel Air Middle School Teacher says
I am responding to comment 41 as well. Nancy Reynolds is the most stable, honest person that could have run a school. She was never about self-promotion. She recognized the efforts of all faculty who gave their best every day for students. A leader sets the stage for the performance of a school both in terms of character and academics. The recent MSA scores reveal that once again we are the top performing school. Explain that, #41. That kind of achievement only happens when a students and teachers follow a leader of the finest moral character.
It concerns me that I will be reentering a school in the fall where someone lurks in the shadows with such negative, misguided, and erroneous perceptions. I stand united with the other teachers who are concerned about revealing ourselves for fear of attacks from the truly unstable person, writer #41. Decide to meet the standards of Bel Air Middle or get out.