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O’Malley Appoints Two to County School Board

June 18, 2008

By ELISABETH HULETTE Staff Writer

Gov. Martin O’Malley named his picks for the Anne Arundel County Board of Education this morning, reappointing the board’s president and bringing a new face onto the scene.

Tricia Johnson will serve a second term and Teresa Milio Birge, an Odenton accountant, will begin her first term starting July 1.

Mr. O’Malley also made official the appointment of Collin Wojciechowski, the Chesapeake High School senior who was elected by his peers in March to fill the student position on the board. He replaced Sage Snider, who just graduated from Severna Park High School and will attend Yale University this fall.

“I’m very excited,” said Ms. Birge, who said she’s looking forward to working on teacher recruitment in county schools and providing more career paths for all students, including those entering trade fields.

“I think it’s very important that we pay a lot of attention not only to our students who are planning to attend college, but the ones who are going to stay here after graduation, (make sure) they’re able to hold down a job after high school,” she said.

Ms. Birge graduated from Arundel High School in 1989, where she was president of the countywide student government. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Towson University and a master’s in public administration from the University of Delaware.

Ms. Birge lives in Odenton, where she serves on the Odenton Town Center Plan Oversight Committee. She has two children – a son who just finished kindergarten at Seven Oaks Elementary School and a 3- year-old daughter.

Since February, Ms. Birge has been an accountant for Walsh and Associates Financial Services Inc., where she prepares tax returns part-time. Previously, she was a legislative analyst in Annapolis.

Mr. O’Malley chose the two women out of six candidates submitted by the new School Board Nominating Commission. The pool also included former countywide Citizen Advisory Committee Chairman Sam Georgiou, longtime county administrator Walter Chitwood, Naval Academy graduate Kevin Jackson and Evelyn Gray-Mason, a retired county teacher.

The commission chose them out of 13 applicants.

This was the first year the commission, which was created by the legislature last year, nominated school board candidates. Previously, local organizations caucused to send names to the governor, who could either appoint one of them or anyone else he wanted.

Mr. O’Malley chose them with the help of his secretary of appointments, Jeanne Hitchcock.

Ms. Hitchcock said she interviewed the candidates with an eye toward their involvement in the community, experience in education and connection to Anne Arundel schools and then presented that information to the governor, who made his decision from there.

The two open seats on the school board were an at-large seat, which Mrs. Johnson will continue to hold, and the new District 32 seat that also was created by the legislature last year. Ms. Birge will hold that seat.

Their terms are for five years. Because Mrs. Johnson is starting her second term, the public will get to cast a confidence vote on her work during the general election in November. If the public votes against her, the commission will have to nominate more candidates to replace her.

Mrs. Johnson is a former GOP official who lives in Davidsonville. She was appointed to the school board by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in 2003 and has been elected president of the board for the past two years by the other members.

She works as director of public relations at the Lake Presidential Golf Club and also is executive director of the BWI Development Council. Previously, she owned her own picture-framing business, Framed by Tricia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Monmouth College in Illinois, and her five children attended South River High School, where the youngest will be a senior next year.

Mrs. Johnson said she didn’t have any specific plans for her second term.

“I hope that I can serve the people of Anne Arundel County to the best of my ability,” she said. {Corrections:} A STORY ABOUT THE GOVERNORS SELECTION OF TWO MEMBERS OF THE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION ON THE ARUNDEL REPORT PAGE OF THE CAPITAL YESTERDAY INCORRECTLY REPORTED THAT ONLY ONE OF THE TWO APPOINTEES WILL FACE A RETENTION VOTE IN THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION. THE PUBLIC WILL VOTE ON BOTH TRICIA JOHNSON AND TERESA MILIO BIRGE.

{Status:}

JOHNSON REAPPOINTED; BIRGE IS NEW KID ON BLOCK

(c) 2008 Capital (Annapolis). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.




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