The Montgomery County Education Association, which is the teacher’s union representing the County’s more than 12,000 classroom teachers, guidance counselors, speech pathologists, media specialists, and other non-supervisory certified educators has announced the three candidates it recommends for the 2016 Board of Education election which will be held in November.
The MCEA has thrown its support behind the two incumbents in the two races of concern to Germantown-area residents. The MCEA is recommending District 2 incumbent Board Member Rebecca Smondrowski and At-Large Board Member Phil Kaufman for re-election.
This year there are three seats up for election, two district seats — including the District 2 seat which includes the southern portion of Germantown. That seat currently held by Rebecca Smondrowski — an At-Large seat, currently held by Phil Kauffman and the District 4 which represents Silver Spring and Takoma Park. The District 4 seat is currently held by Chris Barclay, who is not running for reelection. In the District 4 race, the MCEA is recommending Shebra Evans over Anjali Phukan. Evans narrowly lost to Jill Ortman-Fouse of Silver Spring for an At-Large Board seat in 2014.
In the District 2 race, Smondrowski is running against Brandon Rippeon. Rippeon, of Darnestown, was a 2012 Republican candidate for U.S. House to represent the 6th Congressional District of Maryland. Rippeon was defeated by incumbent Roscoe Bartlett in the Republican primary in April 2012.
Smondrowski is seeking her second term on the board after being elected in 2012. Before joining the Board, Smondrowski served as the Legislative Aide for Maryland State Senator Roger Manno and was an active local and county PTA leader. She has served on the Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Association’s Board of Directors.
District 2 includes the southern portions of Germantown south of the railroad tracks, including the Germantown Estates, Fountain Hills, the Vistas in Boyds, and the Kingsview Village neighborhoods. District 2 also includes large portions of Gaithersburg and Rockville.
It should be noted that In the At-Large race, the MCEA is not supporting the candidate who received the most votes in April’s primary election. The results of that election show Jeanette Dixon, the former principal at Paint Branch High School garnering the most votes. Results show that Dixon, with 98.88 percent of the ballots tallied, has earned 54,943 or 31. 4 percent of the total votes.
Jeanette Dixon, of Silver Spring, is seeking her first term as a member of the Board of Education. She is the former Paint Branch High School principal for 12 years, retiring in 2013. Prior to working at Paint Branch, she was principal at White Oak Middle School.
Kauffman is an Olney resident, seeking his third term on the Board of Education as an At-Large member. Kauffman, an Olney resident, is a retired federal employee and former PTA leader. He received 49,254 votes or 28.1 percent of the votes in the five-person the non-partisan primary.
Dixon Photo courtesy www.jeanettedixon.org
Other photos by Germantown Pulse.