Information on the 18 candidates for a vacant seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education was released this week.
The deadline for filing the vacant seat in District 3 was Friday at 5 p.m. The board did not release the list of names or information about the nominees at this time.
Then, on Monday, the board posted the list of 18 candidates. Information applicants submitted about them were also released on Tuesday, including resumes and cover letters.
Applicants and some details of their application (in particular, current job and current or past experience with PTA or schools):
• Cynthia Anderson-Clay from Potomac: director of development for George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy; worked on a plan for secondary school pupils to supervise younger pupils, so parents in the Scottish community could attend PTA meetings; was secretary of the Bells Mill Primary School Parent-Teacher Association
• Bethesda’s Rhonda Applebaum: Real estate agent with Long & Foster Companies; has been involved with PTSA at Richard Montgomery High School, PTSA at Eastern Middle School and PTA at Wayside Elementary School; launched a collection of summer books for students
• Anil Chaudhry from Potomac: Senior Advisor to the US Agency for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security; Federal Acquisition Service with US General Services Administration
• Eric Delgado from Bethesda: co-founder, director, entrepreneur of various entities; Carderock Springs Elementary School PTA Volunteer and Whitman High Cluster Coordinator
• Robert Demske du Potomac: founder, president and CEO of RD Consulting; President of the Winston Churchill High School Booster Club; former college professor in New York
• Ana Sol Gutierrez of Chevy Chase: State of Maryland delegate from 2002 to 2018; member of the Montgomery County School Board from 1990 to 1998; former Deputy Administrator in the Research and Special Programs Administration of the US Department of Transportation; CEO of an IT consulting company
• Laurie Halverson du Potomac: member of the Maryland State Board of Education in 2016 and 2017; experience with Montgomery County Council of PTAs and with Bells Mill Elementary School PTA
• Happy Eisner Heidorn from the Potomac: COO and co-publisher of RTO Insider LLC, a subscription-based news service focused on the US electricity grid; held positions with Bells Mill Elementary School PTA, MCCPTA, Maryland PTA and Cabin John Middle School PTSA; was legislative director of Start School Later
• Scott Joftus of Bethesda: co-founder and president of FourPoint Education Partners, a consulting firm; Assistant Professor of Educational Policy, Program Evaluation and Leadership at George Washington University
• Kim Becker Koch from Potomac: retired from the bank; work part-time in the management of real estate portfolios; class volunteer
• Victor Mastroianni of Bethesda: responsible for business development and accounts for AARP services; fundraising chair for Bannockburn Elementary School PTA
• Benjamin McDonough from Kensington: Chief Legal Adviser, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, United States Department of the Treasury; held positions on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; taught English in Finland
• Neal Orringer of Bethesda: founding president of the Applied Science and Technology Research Organization (ASTRO America); senior technology leader for The General Electric Company; has held positions with Seven Locks Elementary School PTA and MCCPTA; served on the MCPS operating budget committee
• Debby Orsak from North Bethesda: president of Cagley & Associates, which works on general structural engineering of buildings; involved with PTAs in three schools and MCCPTA; part of some MCPS working groups
• Margery Smelkinson of Chevy Chase: researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – National Institutes of Health; presented science topics to local elementary and preschool schools; worked with coalitions advocating for the safe reopening of schools during the pandemic
• Vashti Van Wyke of Cabin John: lawyer; has been active in PTAs for Bannockburn, Chevy Chase and Pyle Middle Elementary Schools; was a member of the board of trustees of the Clara Barton Center for Children, a nursery school in Cabin John
• Julie Yang from Potomac: Employee of Montgomery County Public Schools from 2011 to 2021 (Educational Data Analyst, then College and Career Coordinator); member of some MCPS committees (anti-racism, COVID-19 board)
• Jeremy Young from Kensington: reporter at Al Jazeera English (formerly with VH1, WNBC, MSNBC)
The board plans to interview the candidates on or around November 30, and then make a decision shortly thereafter.
Pat O’Neill served as District 3 headquarters until his death on September 14 at the age of 71. She was first elected in 1998.
District 3 includes parts of Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, and Potomac.
O’Neill’s successor would serve the remaining year of his tenure – until November 2022.
His seat will be on the ballot for a full term in 2022. No one had filed for candidacy Thursday morning.