Erin Hager, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, was appointed to the Baltimore County School Board, the school system announced Tuesday.
Hager will immediately step into the midst of a squabble over the leadership of the school board. Kathleen Causey, the current board chair, and Cheryl Pasteur, a current board member were running against each other to be chair of the board. Neither one gained the seven votes needed to gain the seat in the early December vote. Pasteur had six votes and Causey had five.
Causey remained in the position, she said, because no one had seven votes. Some were angered at the outcome, saying Causey should have stepped aside.
The appointment has been closely watched because an additional board member could give Pasteur enough votes to become chair — or maintain the current leadership deadlock. It is unclear whether another vote could be held before next December, however.
Hager, who is a graduate of Lansdowne High School and the parent of three children who attend county public schools, will take the place of Roger Hayden, who died last October. Efforts to reach Hager were unsuccessful.
She was appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan after being recommended by the Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission.
She will not take a seat until she is sworn in by the clerk of the county courts. The courts are closed through Friday, May 1. Her term will run until 2022.
Hager holds faculty appointments in the departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology & Public Health at Maryland’s school of medicine. She also is director of the Program in Health Equity and Population Health.
Her research includes evaluating strategies to promote healthy eating and physical activity among children in schools and communities. Since 2018, she has served as the elected chair of the Maryland State School Health Council.
Hager has a doctorate in human nutrition from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She lives in Catonsville with her family.