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Elections

Baltimore neighborhood advocate, Patterson High teacher elected in Baltimore City’s first-ever school board race

An advocate for the Violetville neighborhood and a city high school teacher will join Baltimore’s board of education in the city’s first election of its kind.

Baltimore City election officials completed counting mail-in ballots Friday, cinching two seats on the city’s newly expanded school board. Ashley Esposito, a prospective city school parent, took home the majority of votes, with 29.07% choosing her name from a list of four candidates. The data analyst for the Maryland Department of Human Resources has also worked in recent years as an advocate for the Violetville neighborhood. She sought an appointment to the school board prior to running for office.

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Kwame Kenyatta-Bey, a teacher at Patterson High School, took home 26.77%, enough of the remaining votes to nab the second seat. Following election day, Kenyatta-Bey wouldn’t say what his plans were for employment as a city school educator, but stated he was looking forward to taking his seat on the board and representing the entire Baltimore community.

The other two candidates who appeared on the ballot, April Christina Curley and Salimah Jasani took 22.72% and 20.92% of the votes, respectively. Jasani conceded the race on Nov. 11 and congratulated Esposito and Kenyatta-Bey. Jasani and Esposito had campaigned for the school board seats jointly.

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With the election this fall, Baltimore City will see its school board expanded from 10 members appointed by the mayor to 12 members, two of whom are chosen by city voters. Maryland’s General Assembly approved the change in 2016, bringing the state more in line with the other 23 county school systems that have also done away with totally appointed boards over the years.


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