ANNE ARUNDEL, Md.—A record number of individuals have applied for the two open seats on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

Twenty-seven individuals applied for the at-large district seat and ten for the District 33 legislative seat.  Three individuals applied for both seats, so there was a total of 34 applicants. District 33 includes Severna Park, Arnold, and Crofton, and is one of the most conservative legislative districts in Maryland.

This is by far the largest number of candidates for an open seat since the Anne Arundel School Board nominating system was created by the General Assembly in 2007 and first implemented in 2008.  Twenty-seven may also be the largest number of contestants in any school board “primary” in the history of Maryland.  In recent years, no more than two have applied for any open school board seat in Anne Arundel County (For 2014, see here).

Now that the list of applicants has been made public and the applicants can see their competition, some may drop out, while many could remain in contention.

A school board nominating commission controlled by appointees of Gov. Martin O’Malley will be nominating at least two candidates for each open position to Gov.-elect Larry Hogan.  This nominating system is unique to Anne Arundel County, but a variation will be implemented in Baltimore County beginning in 2018.

The first public hearing by the nominating commission for the candidates is Jan. 13. At least one thing is certain: the superintendent, school board members, and employee union reps aren’t going to have the time to meet one-on-one with all the candidates.  But given the number of familiar and trusted names on the applicant list below, they won’t have to. For background on the politics of the latent conflict between the nominating commission and the gov.-elect, see here and here.

The Commission’s Schedule

  1. Public Hearing Tuesday, January 13, 20157 p.m., Board Room, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD.  The candidates will be subject to questioning by the Commission. The public is encouraged to attend but no public testimony will be taken.
  2. Public Hearing Thursday, January 15, 20157 p.m., Board Room, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD.  The candidates will be subject to questioning by the Commission. The public is encourages to attend but no public testimony will be taken.
  3. Public Hearing and Vote Tuesday, January 27, 20157 p.m. – Board Room, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD.  The Commission will accept designated candidate witnesses as well as general public testimony from proponents and opponents of the candidates.   The Commission will then deliberate and hold a public session to vote on candidates whose names shall be forwarded to the Governor for selection.

The Applicants

District 33 Open Seat

  1. Tom Angelis of Davidsonville*
  2. Jonathan Boniface of Crofton
  3. Kia Chandler of Arnold*
  4. Giovanni De Amici of Crofton
  5. Kelly Fagan of Crofton
  6. Thomas Frank of Crofton
  7. Jason Kahler of Crownsville
  8. Kerry Petz of Arnold*
  9. Allison M. Pickard of Millersville
  10. Stephanie Turnbach of Severna Park

At-Large Seat Open Seat

  1. Tom Angelis of Davidsonville*
  2. James Appel of Annapolis
  3. Jacqueline Boone Allsup of Glen Burnie
  4. Celeste Busser of Lothian
  5. Alice Johnson Cain of Annapolis
  6. Joseph A. Cardello of Annapolis
  7. Kia Chandler of Arnold*
  8. Kevin A. Chase of Annapolis
  9. Denise Hershberger of Arnold
  10. Julie Hummer of Laurel
  11. Kevin Jackson of Harwood
  12. Darin Jacobs of Pasadena
  13. Tricia Johnson of Davidsonville
  14. Shannon Jones of Severn
  15. Raymond Leone of Edgewater
  16. Darlene McLean of Edgewater
  17. William Moulden of Annapolis
  18. Kerry Petz of Arnold*
  19. Janet Pogar of Glen Burnie
  20. Cynthia Robichaud of Annapolis
  21. Patrick Rosko of Linthicum
  22. Scott Shaffer of Annapolis
  23. Kathleen A. Shatt of Glen Burnie
  24. Lisa Shore of Pasadena
  25. Rose Tasker of Annapolis
  26. Keinde Thomas of Severn
  27. William Ward Jr. of Glen Burnie

* Indicates applicant is applying for both open seats.

A press release sent out at 10:56 am on January 8, 2015 listed 33 candidates.  A press release sent out at 1:44 pm on January 8, 2015 listed 34 candidates.  No explanation for the discrepancy was provided.

This article was written by a contributor of Watchdog Arena, Franklin Center’s network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.

Source: Snider, J.H., Record number of school board applicants compete for Anne Arundel County seats, Watchdog Wire, January 9, 2015.

See also: Pegher, Kelcie, Record number of people apply for school boardCapital, January 9, 2015. (The Capital reporter interviewed J.H. Snider for this article.)