Eric Ebersole, 55, has lived in Catonsville his entire life. He has been a youth group leader at Catonsville Presbyterian Church and volunteered with the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce.
Now he wants to serve the community in a new, different way.
Ebersole, who has taught in Howard County for 33 years — 22 at Wilde Lake High School — is running to fill one of three open seats in the House of Delegates in what will be District 12, which includes part of Catonsville, Arbutus and part of Howard County.
Del. Liz Bobo, who represents Howard County in District 12B, announced her retirement in September 2012.
Dels. James Malone Jr. and Steven DeBoy, who represent District 12A, which includes Arbutus and parts of Catonsville and Howard County, each announced their retirement in mid-April.
The three will represent their areas in their last session in January.
Redistricting by the state has eliminated the subdistricts for the 2014 election and created a larger District 12. So no longer will one delegate represent only Howard County and two represent predominantly Baltimore County.
"I've been thinking about running for office for about 10 years," said Ebersole, who filed his candidacy paperwork on June 14. "This just became a perfect storm."
He said that perfect combination came when all three delegates announced their retirement, meaning there would be no incumbent in the race, and when he found out that the new district will include parts of both Baltimore and Howard counties.
Ebersole, who has taught at Marriotts Ridge High and currently teaches math at Reservoir High, thinks his involvement in both counties will be an asset in his campaign.
"I feel like I have a presence in both of them," he said. "I think I'm just in touch with my community."
Ebersole, who received both a bachelor's and a master's degree in education from University of Maryland, said the support and help of his family will get him to where he wants to be come elections in June 2014.
His three children — James, 22, Rebecca, 25, and Caroline, 27 — will all help with his campaign.
James Ebersole, who graduated from the University of Maryland with degrees in political science and history in May, is serving as his campaign manager and Caroline Ebersole, also a math teacher, is working as the campaign treasurer.
His wife, Tara Ebersole, is also helping him get the word out.
"This is a family affair," Eric Ebersole said. "We're not going into this blind."
He said he plans to host his first official fundraiser at the end of July.
Ebersole said he is looking forward to the campaign and the opportunity that lies ahead, should he win.
"For me, it's a great adventure, but I want it to culminate in a great success," he said. "It would be a great turn in my life to be able to serve in this new way."