In the nonpartisan Board of Education race, voters may only choose three names in the primary election, yet six candidates will move on to the general election in November.

With that in mind, as the Carroll County Times begins its endorsements ahead of the start of the early voting period, which runs from June 14 to June 21, and the primary election itself on June 26, there are six candidates from the 11 on the ballot that we believe stand ahead of the others.


The Carroll County Times is endorsing, in alphabetical order: Patricia Ann Dorsey, Muri Dueppen, Jason Helton, Doug Howard, Kenneth Kiler and Bob Lord. The time between the primary and the general will give voters more time to sort out who the three most qualified candidates are.

These candidates have distinguished themselves from the rest of the field and are worthy of your vote in the primary.

Dorsey’s nearly 40-year career as an educator in the Carroll County Public Schools system, as both a revered classroom teacher and a principal, gives her an intimate knowledge of how decisions made by the BOE affect what’s actually happening inside the buildings and in the classroom. As CCPS also seeks to address diversity issues related to both staffing and a growing minority student population, we believe Dorsey, an African-American herself, would be a great advocate on the board.

Dueppen has long been an advocate for students and education, serving as a bit of a citizen watchdog on government transparency and school-related issues. Her platform of making decisions that are student-focused and empowering the voices of students would create a student body that is more engaged in their own education, and also would get the BOE back on track focusing on the kids rather than buildings. Dueppen also has good ideas on making curriculum more rigorous and experiential.

Helton may have been inspired to get involved in the BOE race because of the decision to close North Carroll High School in Hampstead, where he lives, but his campaign has more depth than fighting school closures. In particular, he seems to be a strong advocate for improving the technical education offerings of CCPS, as a product of a tech education himself. And as a parent of two young children, he also recognizes both the good and the bad happening inside the classroom.

Howard, whose second term as a county commissioner is expiring, would bring with him to the BOE that expertise that comes with working “across the street” where many decisions about school funding are made. That knowledge could perhaps bridge the divide that has existed between the school board and the commissioners recently. Throughout his nearly eight years as commissioner, Howard has consistently been an advocate for schools and education funding, even when others on the board were not.

Kiler brings an impressive mix of businesses acumen from his job as executive vice president at C.J. Miller but also the soft skills that come from working with and supporting young people through founding the Manchester wrestling program. We believe he can be an advocate for students but will also hold CCPS staff and the rest of the BOE accountable during budget season, skills that would be useful if elected and the school system’s funding does not improvement due to enrollment leveling off.

Finally, since his election in 2014, Lord has been a consistent presence at community events, listening to and meeting with constituents who want to discuss numerous issues facing the Board of Education and students and staff of the school system. His experience as a member of the board as well as being a parent of students in CCPS, and being an open ear for parents would serve the community well should he be re-elected.