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Baltimore County committee to accept candidate applications for vacant school board seat in January

The Baltimore County School Board will seek a replacement for a vacant at-large seat in January.

Applications to fill the seat of late longtime school board member Roger Hayden can be obtained online at the school system’s website for candidates to submit via mail, the school system announced Friday. Applications will be accepted until Friday, Jan. 31, and can be mailed to the Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission, care of Tracy Gover at 6901 N. Charles St., Towson, MD 21204.

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Applications will be reviewed by the school board’s nominating commission, and then recommended to Gov. Larry Hogan’s office for approval. Candidate interviews for applicants are slated for Feb. 18 at the school board building at 6901 N. Charles St.

There is no firm timeline on when the commission plans to submit its recommendations, but “it won’t be anything too quick,” said school system spokesman Brandon Oland. “The commission is going to do its due diligence” in selecting the "best possible potential candidates.”

“If you have a passion for education … and you want to make a difference, this is a wonderful platform to do that,” Oland said. “I think all of our board members really enjoy the opportunity to support the students and the teachers.”

The decision to rehash elections for a school board chair and vice chair will be left to the discretion of the board, Oland said.

With a seat vacant, the board this month failed to elect a chair and vice chair, required by the state at the end of each calendar year, and subsequently retained board chairwoman Kathleen Causey and vice chairwoman Julie Henn.

Board counsel told school officials during a special session that Causey is considered a holdover officeholder, unless the board takes up the vote again and a majority of seven members votes to either re-elect her or elect another member.

Stephen Bounds, director of legal and policy services for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, said state code compels the commission to put forward two candidates for appointment. The governor must then select the board member within 30 days, according to state law.

The Baltimore County school board is composed of 11 members — seven elected from the county’s councilmanic district, four at-large members appointed by the governor serving four-year terms, and one student member who serves for one year.

The volunteer board became a hybrid panel of appointed and elected members in 2018; prior to that, members were appointed by the governor.

The nominee will serve out the duration of Hayden’s term until 2022. Hayden died Oct. 24.

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