CCPS Board of Education election rhetoric heats up | #Education

My name is Celeste Jordan, and I’m high school math teacher elected by my peers to serve as President of the Carroll County Education Association (CCEA).

There are three things educators want Carroll County parents and community members to understand. First, the CCEA believes Dr. Pat Dorsey, Tom Scanlan, and Dr. Amanda Jozkowski have the experience and temperament to best serve Carroll County students on the Board of Education. Pat has been a strong advocate for public schools and students for years in our community. Tom was a 30-plus-years educator and is a champion for public schools and students. Amanda has experience with policy implementation, data analysis, and will serve as a bridge to higher education.

Second, classroom educators made this call. Each candidate who completed a questionnaire was invited to be interviewed by classroom educators. Our Government Relations Committee recommended an endorsement based on the questionnaires and interviews. These endorsements were approved by our governing bodies. Every CCEA member could vote to support or reject. Overwhelmingly, our members agreed with the recommendations. Hundreds of educators participated in that process. It’s one of the most democratic processes that can be found in any organization of a similar size.

Third, our parent organization MSEA contacted candidates for the Carroll County Board of Education whose supporters had generated imagery that included an apple along with the phrase, “educators support” to imply our support for those candidates. This was a trademark violation and if trademarks are not enforced, they stop being binding. A member of the slate’s candidates “liked” the image on social media, implying support or endorsement of that image. In response to MSEA, one of the slate’s candidates had the imagery pulled from social media and made it clear they won’t be using anything similar in the course of the campaign. Consequently, there is no violation of our trademark to our knowledge.

Carroll County voters should be excited about the chance to vote for a wonderfully talented, experienced, and highly qualified group of candidates who will focus on putting CCPS’ resources into our classrooms, hiring and retaining quality educators, and making sure that each CCPS classroom welcomes EVERY child. That’s the job of every public school system — and that’s why they got our recommendation.

Celeste Jordan, Westminster

Jordan is president of the Carroll County Education Association

The November election is quickly approaching. This is an incredibly important election for the future of our state and nation. In Maryland, every state office is on the ballot as are nearly every county office in the state. In Carroll County however, perhaps the most crucial contest on the ballot is one many often don’t pay much attention to, Carroll County Board of Education. Voters will be selecting three members out of the five member board, a majority. We have been extremely fortunate over the past few years to have a strong, pro-transparency, pro-parent Board of Education.

When operating properly, school boards provide needed oversight and accountability to the school system, careful fiscal management and support our teachers and staff, creating a positive educational environment. It’s become clear in the past three years how important our local boards of education are in keeping politics and inappropriate social topics out of the classroom — as well as getting unneeded or outdated mandates overturned.

Now, control of the Board of Education is on the ballot. There are now six candidates left, running to fill three seats. I’m proud to support the following three candidates, Tara Battaglia, James Miller and Steve Whisler. Tara is running for reelection and she has been on the right side of every major fight since the pandemic began. She’s always been a responsive person, connected to the community. James Miller is a parent, coach and businessperson who is very involved with the rec aports programs in the county. Steve Whisler is a veteran, former small business owner, classroom teacher and tutor with extensive business and educational experience.

It is vital that Carroll County elects the BMW slate to the Board of Education, to keep a board that preserves local control and questions things that come from the state level instead of just rubber-stamping as the opponents in this race are on record saying the board should do.

While most of our state kept children out of schools for nearly two full school years, the common sense, pro-student majority currently serving on the Carroll County school board fought to get them back into school fully. Our schools were even the first in the state to not have a mask mandate, as the data clearly showed that children and young adults were among the lowest risk population when it came to COVID.

Without the local control that our school board demonstrated, our students could have been stuck with virtual learning for nearly twice as long as they had to endure. Not only were there clear academic losses, but students, especially elementary school students, lost so much opportunity to learn social skills and get comfortable with their young educational careers.

Tara Battaglia, Jim Miller and Steve Whisler will continue this practical, common-sense approach to leading our school system that focuses on academic achievement instead of politics and engages and listens to parents and those serving in our schools on the ground, in the classroom.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting Battaglia, Miller and Whistler for Carroll County Board of Education on Nov. 8!

Justin Ready, Manchester

Ready is a state Senator representing District 5

Two years ago, Westminster’s mayoral election made news when money from national political groups flooded the race. Aggressive mailers targeted registered Republicans all over Westminster. The mailers attacked Mona Becker personally, called her a “socialist” and “leftist” threat, said she would harm Westminster, destroy businesses.

This vicious, win-at-all-costs strategy backfired when a record number of voters elected their local educator and business supporter Mona Becker for mayor. We sent a clear message to the outsiders: Stay out of our county. Stop telling us how to vote. Stop telling us who to hate.

We need to send the same message with our votes for Board of Education.

Tara Battaglia, Steve Whisler and Jim Miller are running for Board of Education as the “BMW” slate. Both Ms. Battaglia and Mr. Whisler have signed a pledge with Moms4Liberty, a well-funded national political group whose action items include offering cash for “reporting on teachers” and attacking educators.

Mr. Whisler praises “No Left Turn in Education,” another national political group that labels public schools as “re-education camps.” When I questioned Mr. Whisler about why he was aligning himself with these groups, he deleted the question, and blocked me from his candidate page.

This week, mailers from two national political groups (Citizens United and the 1776 Project PAC) arrived at our home. Sent to registered Republicans, these fliers claim that the candidates running against BMW (“they”) are coming to get your children — “they” don’t share your values, “they” are “anti-parent”, “they” are putting pornographic books in schools.

This is all very familiar. Just like in Westminster’s mayoral race, national political groups march into our county and tell us that our neighbors are a threat. That “they” are coming for “us.” It’s a lie.

But Battaglia, Whisler and Miller have aligned themselves with this strategy, demonizing our fellow citizens in the pursuit of political power. How do you think they will wield that power once on the Board of Education? Who will they demonize then?

Don’t let the Board of Education become a political game. Don’t let national groups turn Carroll into an “us” vs. “them” war zone. Don’t vote for candidates who pledge allegiance to outside groups with national agendas.

Vote instead for Patricia Dorsey, Tom Scanlan and Amanda Jozkowski — our neighbors and parent-educators whose only agenda is to serve, and whose only allegiance is to Carroll County.

Tina Hoff, Westminster

Tara Battaglia, James Miller and Steve Whisler are by far the best choices to represent the values of our parents, teachers and students in Carroll County on the Board of Education.

These three conservative candidates will lead with common sense and keep the focus of our schools on high academic standards and accountability for all students, prioritize teaching the basics and will not allow the promotion of political or social agendas. The left’s push to include the gender identity and social/emotional agenda distracts our teachers from focusing on a quality education that our students deserve. The BMW team believes in giving parents more control over their children’s education.

As a state legislator and former member of our local BOE, I have a great interest in how we educate our children and am proud of the high performing schools we have in Carroll County (thanks to our great teachers)- let’s keep it that way.

There is an effort to “flip” the Carroll County school board from conservative to progressive, led by the liberal state teacher’s union, who unfortunately, has become the backbone of the ideological woke wing of the national Democratic Party.

Like it or not, there is a clear partisan split in those running for the Carroll County Board of Education, even though the school board is a nonpartisan race. The teacher’s union “Apple Ballot” candidates are out of touch with our values in Carroll County.

Tom Scanlan recently resigned as an elected member of the Carroll County Democrat Central Committee before the July primary election; he was a grassroots-level partisan working to ensure the election of Democrats to public office.

A recent transplant from the West Coast, Amanda Jozkowski claims that Carroll County needs fundamental “anti-racist” change and has expressed shame for living in Carroll County (I absolutely disagree with her and suggest that she get involved in our community before making such ill-informed statements). She also supported the state health standards that mandate controversial “gender-fluidity” be taught in our elementary schools. She has praised both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden for their leadership and admires one of the most extreme partisan Congressman in America today- Democrat Jamie Raskin (see her Facebook posts).

All three of the “Apple Ballot”, union-supported candidates have refused to pledge to uphold parental rights, promote transparency in what is being taught, and to fight for local control of our schools.

Which candidates represent your values?

Battaglia, Miller and Whisler — the “BMW Team” — reflect my values, the majority of elected officials in Carroll County and most importantly, our citizens.

Susan Krebs, Eldersburg

Krebs, a Republican, is a delegate representing District 5

Fellow citizens of Carroll County: You are being scammed by recent mailings for the Board of Education election. Three of the candidates, Whisler, Miller and Battaglia, have accepted the endorsement of an outside, highly funded political action committee.

This New York based group has been going around the country trying to scare local people into voting for their candidates. According to the news service Politico, the 1776 Project PAC receives funding from the likes of billionaire Richard Uihlein. Wikipedia reports that Uihlein is the heir to beer company Schlitz and is spending millions of dollars of his fortune promoting political causes.

It is clear that this outside group, and by extension Whisler, Miller and Battaglia, is more interested in advancing political points of view than in advancing Carroll County schools.

If you want folks on the Board of Education who have the interest of our parents and students at heart, and who have the skill and background to make sound decision, then the clear choices are Dorsey, Jozkowski and Scanlan.

George Conover, Westminster

I had the privilege to work my 35-year career in Carroll County Public Schools. That included Carrolltowne, Charles Carroll, Freedom, Manchester, and William Winchester Elementary Schools. I can honestly say I loved what I did, both as a teacher and administrator. Although my career took me to all regions of the county, each a unique community, one thing was common to all. That was an outstanding dedicated staff focused on providing the best possible education for all students. Parents and staff had confidence that the school board was focused on academics and success for all: pure and simple. Unfortunately, I do not feel that same level of confidence with the current Board of Education outside of Dr. Patricia Dorsey. I personally know exceptional educators who have retired or chosen to leave due to similar concerns.

Four years ago, Dr. Dorsey invited me to work on her campaign. One of my incentives, beyond the professional respect I had for her, was to support a candidate I knew would continue the standard of excellence we expect in Carroll County Public Schools. By nearly any measure, our schools have long been among the top performing in the state. Voters spoke in 2018 and Dr. Dorsey was elected by a margin of over 9,000 votes. She did not disappoint in serving admirably during the exceptionally challenging times of her first term.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to work with two other exceptionally qualified candidates for the Board. Mr. Tom Scanlan is a respected retired educator with 33 years dedicated to students in CCPS. Dr. Amanda Jozkowski is a tenured associate professor and active parent volunteer who will have children in the school system through 2039. They share Dr. Dorsey’s commitment to outstanding academic instruction for all with no political agendas.

If Carroll County is to remain a top tier school system, it is essential to elect Dr. Patricia Dorsey, Tom Scanlan, and Dr. Amanda Jozkowski. They are smart choices for strong schools. Their experience as parents, teachers, and advocates makes them the clear choice to lead CCPS forward.

This is the most consequential election for the board since I came to Carroll County as an excited first-year teacher in 1977. I ask others to join me in voting to elect Team PTA (Pat, Tom, and Amanda) to the Carroll County Board of Education.

Richard Huss, Westminster

Huss is treasurer for Citizens for Patricia Dorsey

The Life Independent Veterans Advocate group is proud to announce that the Carroll County State’s Attorneys-elect Haven Shoemaker and Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees have affirmed their support for a Carroll County Veterans Treatment Court.

LIVA Co-Founder Charles Wheatley and Director Bill Murphy met with Shoemaker and Dewees recently to present veteran related data and supporting materials from organizations statewide and briefed them on the current progress of the LIVA effort to bring these venues to eight underserved counties across the state.

Josh Marks, Mount Airy

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