- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Twenty people, including two incumbents, are vying for a seat on the Charles County Board of Education.
Because there are more than 14 candidates, the school board race will go to the June 24 primary.
On the list of hopefuls for the seven-member board are educators, former educators, former school board members and other professionals.
Of the seven current school board members, only two, Jennifer S. Abell and Michael “Mike” Lukas, are seeking re-election. If elected, Lukas would serve a second term, and Abell would serve her third full term, having been appointed midterm in 2004.
After serving the school board for eight years and being on the Charles County Planning Commission for six years prior to that, school board Chairwoman Roberta S. Wise said she opted not to file this year because she believes in term limits.
“It’s time for fresh eyes to come in,” she said.
Wise said she is ready to step out of the public eye.
“I plan to live to 100,” she said, joking that in order to do so she would need to spend the next 30 years working out every day.
Wise said come January, when the new board is sworn in, “we’ve left them with a great superintendent.” The school board hired Kimberly A. Hill last year after James E. Richmond opted not to renew his contract after 17 years as superintendent.
Wise said a position on the school board “is what you make it to be.”
She said the board is expected to attend monthly meetings and work sessions when scheduled.
Beyond those meetings, Wise said it is entirely up to the individual board member what functions they attend or how they take their role as a member of the school board.
Wise said she saw it as her responsibility to be at as many functions as she could to support students, staff and the school system.
Wise said she will miss the students when her term ends this year.
Board member Donald M. Wade is in his fourth term with the school board and is not seeking re-election. He has served as member, chairman and vice chairman during the past 16 years.
Wade was unavailable for comment.
Patricia Bowie, Maura H. Cook and Pamela A. Pedersen also decided not to seek re-election.
Cook and Pedersen will have served two terms, and Bowie one term.
The primary election held in June will narrow the field of candidates to 14.
Besides Abell and Lukas, other candidates running for the school board are Carl Blumenstein, Mark Crawford, Jocelyn Mann Denyer, Betsy Marie Eubanks, Lorina Harris, Jason Henry Sr., Victoria “Vicki” Talley Kelly, Karla M. Kornegay, Margaret T. Marshall, Virginia “Ginny” McGraw, Barbara Palko, Melissa Pascarella, Robert Pitts, Derrick Terry, Marcus N. Tillman, Richard Wallace, Michael Wilson and Stephen Ziegler.