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County school board elects top officers tonight


Members of the Baltimore County Board of Education appear likely to re-elect Donald L. Arnold and Phyllis E. Ettinger as the board's president and vice president, respectively, when they meet tonight.

Board members say Arnold and Ettinger have served successfully in those roles during the past year, leading the group through a search for a superintendent and launching a school renovation program worth $560 million.

"I think they did an excellent job," said board member Jean M. H. Jung. "They communicated well with the staff. I feel very satisfied."

Sanford V. Teplitzky, the longest-serving member of the board, had contemplated entering the contest but decided against it, he said yesterday.

"I'm not going to seek it after all," said Teplitzky, a health-law attorney with the Baltimore firm Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver.

"There are points of view and issues that I want to make sure are raised during discussions," he said. "I think I'll be better able to raise them from my position at the side of the table instead of the head."

Arnold has made it known recently that he would like to serve as president for a second year.

An employee of York Federal Bank, Arnold said he brings a business perspective to the 12-member board, as well as experience working with educators.

He said his service as chairman of the finance and personnel committees while a member of the Red Lion Area, Pa., Board of Education and as vice president of the Baltimore County school board in 1998-1999 taught him how education systems function.

Arnold said he expects Ettinger, a longtime pupil advocate and parent-education associate at the Towson University Institute for Gifted Children since 1992, to seek the vice president's position on the board.

Ettinger could not be reached for comment yesterday."The nice thing about Phyllis is that she brings an expertise in curriculum to the table," Arnold said.

Ettinger is chairwoman of the board's Curriculum Committee and a member of the Building Committee.

Baltimore County PTA Council President Laura Nossel said her group has been well-served by Arnold and Ettinger, who have provided quick answers to members' questions.

Nossel said she hopes the board will consider setting aside time at the start of its meetings for public comment on issues coming up for a vote.

That way, parents can be part of the discussion, she said.

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