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New Harford County Board of Education members Kathy Carmello, left, and Dr. David Bauer, center, stand with incumbent board member Rachel Gauthier as they take their oath of office earlier this year. On Monday, Carmello died during heart surgery, the school system announced.
New Harford County Board of Education members Kathy Carmello, left, and Dr. David Bauer, center, stand with incumbent board member Rachel Gauthier as they take their oath of office earlier this year. On Monday, Carmello died during heart surgery, the school system announced. (Matt Button / The Aegis / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A member of the Harford County Public Schools Board of Education died earlier this week due to complications during heart surgery, the school system announced Thursday.

Kathryn “Kathy” Carmello, who began her term on the school board earlier this year representing Councilmanic District C, died Monday, Dec. 23.

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She had retired from the school system in 2017 after a 15-year career, having served as its governmental relations liaison, spending time in Annapolis advocating for students and families of Harford, according to the school system.

“Kathy led a life of public service and then, following her retirement, made the commitment to continue her service to the community as an elected official on the Harford County Board of Education,” said Superintendent of Schools Sean Bulson. “Kathy was a passionate advocate for students and staff. All of us in the Harford County Public Schools are deeply saddened by the loss of Mrs. Carmello, and, on behalf of all of us, I extend my sincere condolences to Kathy’s family and friends.”

Carmello served as the charter school coordinator, involved in writing the first charter school policy and application for the state of Maryland; she served as a member of the Harford County Council Budget Advisory Board, the Harford County Core Service Agency, and the Harford County Health Planning Commission.

She was also the Legislative Chair for the Maryland Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) and a member of the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance.

Spending time in Annapolis, Carmello became well known throughout the state.

“I was saddened to hear of Kathy’s passing. We worked together for many years in Annapolis when she covered the legislature for the Harford County Board of Education,” said County Executive Barry Glassman, who previously served in the House of Delegates and state Senate. “We will miss her leadership on the Board, and we pray for her family during this difficult time.”

Prior to her career with the school system, Carmello was a prominent member of the PTA, serving as president of the Bel Air High School PTSA as well as vice president at Bel Air Middle School and Ring Factory Elementary School PTAs.

“Kathy’s experience in the school system was essential to the operations of the school board,” said Board of Education President Jansen Robinson. “She was well-versed in the school system, but more importantly, was an advisor, and confidante. Mrs. Carmello’s dedication to Harford County Public Schools will be greatly missed.”

Carmello earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and worked for a tobacco industry international and research group as a legislative analyst prior to starting her career with HCPS, according to the school system.

Carmello leaves behind her husband Ed, daughter, Kristen MacBride and son-in-law David MacBride, sons, Michael and daughter-in-law Amy, Andrew and daughter-in-law Kelly, Nick and daughter-in-law Angelique, and 13 grandchildren.

Visitation will be open to the public on Monday, Dec. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. at McComas Funeral Home, 50 W. Broadway, Bel Air. The funeral service is the next day, Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 10 a.m. at the same location. Interment to follow at Bel Air Memorial Gardens, located at 809 Rock Spring Road.

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