The Harford County Board of Education Nominating Committee conducted interviews with the five candidates last night and voted 7-0 to recommend former Bel Air Middle School Principal Nancy Reynolds and voted 4-3 to recommend Dr. Mohammad Reza Shahab for the two open seats on the board.
Now that the public has the background on at least five candidates for the Harford County Board of Education, it’s too bad we couldn’t have voted to put some of these highly qualified individuals in place. But that decision remains with the Governor. Or more accurately, with whichever local politician has the Governor’s ear. Still, the public has an interest in what happens next.
Will the Governor take these top choices or ones further down the list? Will he snub the committee entirely? What dimmed the prospects of Board Vice President Salina Williams, who was up for reappointment and next in line to be president but who abruptly resigned last night? Perhaps the Governor and his advisors will name another candidate to replace Williams. Will he then select Reynolds for the other open seat, in a nod to the Committee? All the public can do is stay tuned.
In the meantime, here are the qualifications of the candidates recommended by the committee Monday night, sent by Committee Chairman Richard Slutzky to Pat Foerster in the Governor’s Appointments Office. That’s the same Pat Foerster who was president of the Maryland State Teachers Association and a former candidate for the Maryland State Senate in District 7, which includes parts of Harford County. As the Education Policy Advisor to the Governor, she is now the gatekeeper for applicants to the school board.
In a surprise to Committee Chairman Richard Slutzky, Foerster was in attendance last night, along with Democratic Central Committee Chair Mike Comeau and representatives from various interest groups. In addition to Slutzky, the entire committee, consisting of State Senator Nancy Jacobs, Delegate Wayne Norman, County Councilmen James McMahon, Dion Guthrie and Roxanne Lynch and Frank Boston, both representing County Executive David Craig’s Office, were in attendance. What remains to be seen is the effect all these political forces will have on the Governor’s final selections.