Eight new, two returning Harford school board members sworn in

Eight new, two returning Harford school board members sworn in
Members of the Harford County Board of Education are sworn in Monday evening before their July board meeting. Pictured are, from left, Joyce Herold, David Bauer, Kathy Carmello, Rachel Gauthier, Jansen Robinson, Sonja Karwacki, Roy Phillips, Patrice Ricciardi, Tamera Rush and student member Christian Walker. (Matt Button/The Aegis / Baltimore Sun)

The new Harford County Board of Education was sworn in and seated Monday evening with two returning members and eight new members, including a new student representative.

The two members of the previous board - Jansen Robinson and Rachel Gauthier - were elected unanimously as board president and vice president, respectively.


Joyce Herold, Roy Phillips and Patrice Ricciardi were appointed to the board, while David Bauer, Kathy Carmello, Sonja Karwacki and Tamera Rush - as well as Gauthier and Robinson - were elected in November.

Christian Walker was sworn in as the student board member.

Robinson, who represents the Edgewood and Joppatowne communities, and Bauer, representing the greater Bel Air area, ran unopposed.

Rush defeated incumbent Alfred Williamson to represent District D, northern Harford County, and Karwacki beat incumbent Tom Fitzpatrick to represent District F, the Havre de Grace area.

“This is an important event and I am very much looking forward to working with this board. I don’t know that I’ve seen a board change eight members in one night,” Superintendent Sean Bulson said. “This board represents a really interesting array of talents I know we can draw on to best serve our students.”

Bulson pointed out that every person on the board has a new role - the board members in their new positions and Robinson and Gauthier in leadership positions - and that they have big shoes to fill.

“I thank my colleagues for investing their trust and confidence in me and I will serve this board, I will work with each of you, the superintendent so we can identify opportunities so every child in Harford County Public Schools has what he or she needs to be successful,” Robinson said.

Gauthier said the new board has a lot going for it.

“These are some very, very talented individuals with a huge variety of skills,” she said. “They’re going to work with the school system and bring it up to where we know it can be. We’ve got the right guy at the helm and he’s got the right staff, and we’re excited to be here - all of us together."

Walker, who will be a senior at C. Milton Wright, thanked his peers for electing him as the student representative.

“I certainly hope I will serve you well and that at the end of the year, they will be in a better position than they were at the start of the year,” Walker said.

Carmello worked for Harford County Public Schools as a legislative liaison.

“I’m looking forward to working as a board for what’s best for our children, what’s best for our students, what’s best for our school system,” Carmello said. “I’m looking forward to working with everyone - again.”

Phillips, an endocrinologist for Upper Chesapeake Health, said the board will work with a sole focus - benefit the students, the youngsters of Harford County.


Ricciardi, who works for Freedom Federal Credit Union, said she wants to work with parents and “make sure we are listening to what you think is important.”