Seven candidates are running for three available seats on the Carroll County Board of Education. Of those candidates, two are incumbents seeking reelection, Tara Battaglia and Patricia Dorsey.
In July, Battaglia announced her plan to run for reelection, saying her goals for her second term would be the same as her first: keeping communities together, drug prevention and consistency in education. She noted that she voted to allow Carroll’s Career and Technology Center to expand, supported the replacement of East Middle School and played a role in the creation of Navigating Difficult Waters — a mental wellness resource. Battaglia has three children who are students in the county’s public school system and is a graduate of Westminster High School.
Dorsey, who filed for reelection in November, is a retired Carroll County Public Schools teacher and principal. She also attended the county’s public schools as a child. If reelected, Dorsey said she wants to continue helping the school system move past issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So much of our term of these last four years have been spent dealing with the pandemic ... I would like to help the system move forward, especially with the [Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Act],” Dorsey said.
School board president Kenneth Kiler is the third board member whose term is ending this year. He has filed to run for a Carroll County commissioner seat in this election.
The terms of school board members Donna Sivigny and Marsha Herbert end in December 2024. Herbert has also filed to run for a commissioner seat in 2022.
Katherine Berry, director of the Carroll County Board of Elections, has said school board members are allowed to run for county commissioner but would be required to resign from the school board if they win a commissioner seat.
Carroll’s school board is composed of five members elected to four-year terms. Candidates have until March 22 to file for candidacy. The primary election is currently planned for June 28 and the general election is on Nov. 8.
Here’s a look at who has filed to run so far in the 2022 election for the next Carroll County Board of Education:
Jozkowski, 38, of Sykesville is a tenured professor at Towson University, a licensed pediatric therapist and a mother of three children who attend Carroll County public schools. Her experience as a therapist has allowed her to accommodate and support children and youth experiencing mental health crises, she said.
Jozkowski obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in occupational therapy from Towson University and a Ph.D. in occupational science from the University of Southern California. She has worked as an occupational therapist since 2012.
If elected to the school board, Jozkowski said she would emphasize a supportive environment for students through discussion and critical thinking.
“In my view, we need to think about graduating students not only with excellent academic skills, but also preparation for community life,” she said. “This is why I chose my campaign slogan, ‘Students to citizens. Classrooms to communities’. This includes social-emotional learning, critical thinking and problem-solving, media literacy, arts appreciation and more.”
Miller, 38, of Manchester did not immediately respond to requests for comment. According to his public LinkedIn profile, Miller serves as Johns Hopkins Medicine International’s senior director of finance and revenue cycle.
Miller served three years as the director of patient financial services for Carroll Hospital in Westminster, according to the health care system’s website.
Miller has a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Miller announced his candidacy for the Board of Education via Facebook on Dec. 31, 2021:
“As a candidate for CCPS Board of Education, I hope to earn your support. My goal is to work hard every day for the students of CCPS. I truly believe it’s a team effort that will require collaboration with parents, teachers and administrators. We must work together to achieve the common goal of providing the best education for our children,” he wrote.
“I look forward to earning your support and working hard for the students and staff of CCPS. I truly believe we have the best school system and will put us up against anyone! CCPS is the main reason my wife, Katie, and I moved back to Carroll County to raise our three children,” he wrote.
Scanlan, 68, of Westminster is retired after 33 years of teaching in Carroll County public schools. His four children attended schools in the county.
Scanlan worked as a reading specialist for most of his career. He was an English teacher at North Carroll High School and Westminster High School. As a former teacher, he said he would like to see all employees compensated fairly and supports an increase in the number of substitute teachers.
Scanlan believes his extensive classroom experience makes him an ideal candidate to address those issues.
“We just need somebody that’s got some experience with the school system moving ahead with the superintendent search and new commissioners … there’s a lot of change coming up and I feel like we need someone that kind of knows the system,” he said.
Scanlan is running for the school board to “bring reason and community back to our school system,” according to his campaign website.
“Schools are community centers where people come together … I think we need to get back to that,” he added.
Speert did not immediately respond to requests for information. According to her campaign website, Speert resides in Union Bridge with her husband and son. She is a longtime Carroll County native, who attended Mechanicsville Elementary School, Westminster West Middle School and Westminster High School.
Speert has worked with several nonprofits across the state. She started the nonprofit Together We Own It (TWOI) at the age of 19. The nonprofit has served thousands of children and families impacted by trauma across Carroll County, according to its website.
Her website states that her approach to serving the community on the school board would be to focus on “opening doors and providing opportunity for all students and staff to achieve their highest potential.”
Speert obtained a bachelor’s in psychology from Salisbury University, where she became aware of the challenges of minority and low-income children in and out of school, her website states.
Her website states that she obtained a master’s degree in education from American College and is working toward earning a Ph.D. in education at Liberty University.
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Whisler, 53, of Marriotsville is a retired U.S. Naval officer that completed 20 years of active service including 10 years as a Persian-Farsi linguist. In his service, Whisler earned the Combat Action Ribbon and an Air Medal after accumulating more than 700 flight hours. He also taught at Baltimore County schools for over eight years, according to his campaign website.
Whisler retired from the Navy in 2006 and moved to Carroll County in 2014, where he currently serves on the Carroll County Veterans Advisory Council and has written several articles about veteran health care issues.
If elected to the school board, Whisler said he would build a sense of camaraderie among students, staff and board members. His primary focus would be the students instead of emphasizing politics, he said.
“A central theme of my campaign is ‘Let’s work together’ because we really do need to work together because the children don’t really care what political side of the aisle you’re on,” Whisler said. “I’m optimistic that we can all sit down and work together and do what’s best for the kids.”
Whisler has two children who currently attend Carroll County public schools. He also has experience as a board member with the largest credit union in the state, Tower Federal Credit Union. The role, he said, required handling large budgets and doing strategic planning while managing and overseeing the senior staff.
“It’s a very similar job structure as the Board of Education,” he said. “That’s a skill set that is unique among any other candidate.”