The Montgomery County Board of Education has selected Patricia O’Neill and Michael Durso to serve as president and vice president of the Board of Ed for the next year. The election was held at the first meeting of the newly elected Board on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
O’Neill replaces Philip Kauffman, who had served as president for the past year. “This is an important time in the history of our school district as we continue to face unprecedented levels of growth and are preparing students and staff to meet higher expectations,” O’Neill said. “The Board is committed to addressing these challenges and I look forward to working with the leadership of Montgomery County Public Schools, the County Council, and the County Executive to ensure that every child in each of our schools receives a world-class education.”
O’Neill was first elected to the Board of Education in 1998 and is currently the longest serving member of the Board. She was elected to a fifth four-year term in November. She has served as Board president and vice president four times, each. For the past year, O’Neill has served as vice president of the Board and chair of the Policy Management Committee.
The Bethesda resident is past president of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) and past co-chair of the Washington Area Boards of Education. She has served on numerous advisory committees for education-related issues, including the Maryland Blue Ribbon Panel on Teen Pregnancy and the Maryland Comparable HSA Task Force. In 2009, MABE selected O’Neill to receive the Charles A. Willis Award in recognition of her outstanding service at the local and state level.
Prior to joining the Board, she was active in the PTA in the Walt Whitman Cluster and served in various volunteer and leadership roles. O’Neill is a graduate of Walter Johnson High School and has a degree in social science from Southern Methodist University. She is married and has two daughters who are graduates of MCPS.
Durso, a resident of Silver Spring, was elected to his first four-year term in November of 2010, after being appointed to the Board in June 2009 to finish an unexpired term. For the past year, he has served as chair of the Board’s Fiscal Management Committee.
He is a retired educator, whose 44-year career included 13 years with Montgomery County Public Schools as principal of Springbrook High School from 1996 to 2009. He also served as the principal at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia, and as principal at Woodrow Wilson High School and Lincoln Junior High School in Washington, D.C. He began his career as a Social Studies teacher.
Durso received a degree in American History with a minor in Education Philosophy from The Catholic University of America and a master’s degree from American University in Educational Administration. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at McDaniel College. Durso is married with four children who graduated from MCPS.
Caption: Superintendent of School Joshua Starr, newly elected Board of Education President Patricia O'Neill and Vice President Michael Durso.
Photo provided by MCPS