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A former teacher is taking her passion for teaching and education and entering the Charles County Board of Education race.

Melissa Pascarella, 36, of Waldorf worked for Charles County Public Schools for about 12 years. In that time, she was a middle school teacher, a gifted education resource teacher and an elementary school instructional specialist.

Running for a seat on the seven-member school board, Pascarella said, is a way to continue with her love of education and stay connected with and support the county’s public schools.

Her experience in education, she said, would be beneficial to the school board.

Pascarella said she likes the direction the school system is headed in and is excited about how the county is growing. “Here in Charles County we are growing, and we have an obligation to keep up the excellence in our schools.”

She has been thinking about running for school board for several years and said it is an opportunity to “be a part of Charles County Public Schools.”

Pascarella said she could see herself taking a role on the board similar to how current Chairwoman Roberta S. Wise seems to approach her role. Pascarella said she often sees Wise at events and said Wise seems to be there in support of students and the school system.

If elected, Pascarella said she also would want to attend events and support the schools as much as possible.

Part of her role as a board member would be to “support the kids, showing them they are the reason you are there.”

Pascarella is a member of New Life Wesleyan Church in La Plata where she and her husband help with the marriage ministry.

Pascarella, originally from Pittsburgh, enjoys spending time with her family.

She and her husband, who works in the school system, have made Charles County the place they call home, she said.

The couple have a son enrolled in the public school system.