The new members of the Howard County Board of Education are scheduled to take their oath of office on December 7th. Here is what the new board looks to be on that date:

  • Vicky Cutroneo (At-Large)
  • Chao Wu (At Large)
  • Christina Delmont-Small (District 1)
  • Antonia Watts (District 2)
  • Jolene Mosley (District 3)
  • Jen Mallo (District 4) – in the lead in votes right now
  • Yun Lu (District 5)
  • Zachary Koung (Student Member)

On the schedule for December 7th following the oath of office will be the election of a new Chair and Vice Chair to the Board.

For those of us that watch the Howard County Board of Education closely we remember what a debacle the election of a Chair of the Board was a year ago. Here are some articles from this blog on that topic:

This first vote by the new Board will set the tone for the next two years with the election of the Chair of the Board. We will see if this new board comes together to work for what is best for our school system or if the political process we saw play out in this most recent election cycle will drive our school system in the future.

Here are my thoughts on who might be the next Chair of the Board:

Vicky Cutroneo – She is the current Vice Chair of the Board and was nominated multiple times last year to be Chair of the Board. It would not shock me to see her nominated again this year and would make a good choice (in my opinion).

Christina Delmont-Small – She will be the longest standing member of the Board in December (the only member with 4 years of service on the Board in December) and won her election by a significant vote total.

Jen Mallo – Was nominated for Vice Chair of the Board in 2019 and was recently reelected (pending the final results of the election in 2020). I could easily see a move here to nominate her for Chair of the Board in December and potentially get a significant number of votes.

Chao Wu – Was one of two existing members that did not deal with an election in 2020. Many have mentioned to me that he has had a difficult time with the current Chair of the Board (my opinion – many videos show that fact) and that he might make the most fair and balanced Chair of the Board going forward.

I think it is unlikely for a brand new member to the board to be the Chair (Watts, Mosley and Lu) but you never know what might happen…especially after last year.

Just a reminder…the Student Member of the Board has a vote in electing the new Chair of the Board (for those curious why things ended in multiple 4 – 4 ties a year ago).

I think this first vote will be significant and set the tone for this board for the next two years. If we see the mess that happened a year ago…I would expect that to be what we see from the Board over the next two years. Let us all hope that is not what happens this year. 2020 has been difficult enough and I hope we do not end the year with another final mess when it comes to electing a Chair of our local Board of Education.

Have thoughts…let me know in the comments.

Scott E

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