Governor Martin O’Malley announced the interim appointments of Bob Frisch and Rick Grambo to the Harford County Board of Education on December 3, 2010. Both Frisch and Grambo were elected to the school board in November to serve four-year terms beginning on July 1, 2011. The two were appointed to serve at this time to fill vacancies left by board members John Smilko and Robin Rich, who left the board in August and November respectively. The resignations had taken the seven-member board down to five members heading into the turbulence of countywide elementary school redistricting.
“That’s why the Governor went forward…because the Board of Education was so short handed”, said Pat Foerster, the education policy advisor in Gov. O’Malley’s appointment office. Foerster also noted that the vacancies had left two areas of the county without representation. Bob Frisch represents Edgewood/Joppatowne (District A); Rick Grambo represents North Harford (District D).
“I am ecstatic,” Frisch told The Dagger, “I think the board needs a full compliment of people. There are so many issues facing the board – redistricting and the budget. We need all the bodies and the brains that we can get to come to the most logical decisions for the best interest of the school system.” Frisch said he was happy that the governor made the interim appointments, and in a reference to his own campaign slogan said, ”The people have spoken about who they wanted on the board – let them get their voice.”
Regarding redistricting, Frisch said that it was necessary, and delays would only exacerbate the problem of imbalances in enrollment. He said that he had been looking at the draft proposal under consideration by the board and had some questions for the superintendent. “We’ve reached the point where we have to do something – what we do is up for debate,” Frisch said.
Some parents have called for delays in comprehensive redistricting, to focus only on filling the new Red Pump Elementary School for next year. But Frisch said that the decision to embark on comprehensive redistricting had already been made, adding, “I don’t know how you can balance capacity without looking at significant movement in some parts of the county.” Frisch added that tough budget decisions also lie ahead.
Rick Grambo is also ready to serve. “There’s no time like the present,” he told The Dagger, adding that he wanted to be the people’s voice. Grambo, who attended training for incoming board members along with Frisch on the day their appointments were announced, said that the current board members had been welcoming and that he believed his input would be considered. “Maybe we can get some changes made,” he said.
Grambo said he thought that some of the proposed elementary school boundaries were “a little odd”, and he was concerned about bus routes. He said that his information on redistricting was coming from the outside looking in, and the first thing he would do was to get information from the inside perspective. Regarding the budget, Grambo said that it was necessary to make responsible decisions and to have a sustainable budget, adding “If we don’t take care of the budget, we’re going to have the smartest kids in the soup kitchen.”
Two More Appointees to be Named Soon
The Governor will announce two more appointments to the Harford County Board of Education by the end of this year or shortly thereafter, according to Pat Forester in the Governor’s appointment office. Foerster told The Dagger that there was a “good slate” of candidates being interviewed for the two positions, which will represent the county at-large. She said that the two at-large appointees will bring the school board up to nine members when they take office on July 1, 2011, in accordance with state law.
Here is the official announcement from the Office of Gov. Martin O’Malley:
Governor Martin O’Malley today announced appointments to the Harford and Somerset County Boards of Education. The Governor appointed Mr. Robert Frisch and Mr. Rick Grambo to the Harford County Board of Education to fill the vacancies created by the resignation of two members. Frisch and Grambo were elected to the Board in November; however, their terms do not begin until July 1, 2011. Additionally, Margo Green-Gale was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Somerset County Board of Education following the passing of a member. Her term begins on January 1, 2011.
“I am proud to announce the appointments of three well-qualified individuals who have been chosen by the people in their Districts to help build on the progress we have made for our number-one ranked public schools,” said Governor O’Malley. “I’d like to commend them for having the courage to step up and serve in the toughest of times. With their hard work and dedication, we will continue to give our children the tools they need to build a better future.”
Harford County Board of Education
Rick Grambo is a 37-year Harford County resident with two young children, one of whom attends North Harford Elementary. Mr. Grambo, an electrical engineer and project manager with Pritchard Brown in Baltimore, has been a trade school instructor in Baltimore County. He represents District D which encompasses the North Harford area.
Robert Frisch is a 47-year Harford County resident with two sons who attended Joppatowne Elementary and Magnolia Middle School. He is a former Baltimore City police officer, who currently teaches in Baltimore County. Mr. Frisch represents District A which encompasses the Edgewood and
Somerset County Board of Education
Margo Green-Gale is a Crisfield resident and a former teacher of 44 years. She is currently a Crisfield Housing Authority commissioner and a former member of the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center Board of Directors. Ms. Green-Gale has also served on the 2008 Crisfield Strategic Revitalization Plan Committee. She is a 45-year member of the NAACP. Ms. Green-Gale represents District 5 which encompasses the City of Crisfield and surrounding areas, as well as the three communities on Smith Island.