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Voters Elect All Female Board of Education

For the first time in its history, the Montgomery County Board of Education will consist of all females, after Tuesday’s election made it official. It wasn’t a surprise since there were no men on the ballot after the June primary.

On Tuesday voters in the UpCounty narrowly elected incumbent board member Judy Docca in District 1, by 4,103 votes over Maria Blaeuer. District 1 covers most of Germantown north of the railroad tracks, Clarksburg, Damascus, Poolesville, Barnesville, Montgomery Village, and Laytonsville.

Docca will begin her fourth term on the Board of Education. She was first elected to the Board in 2002. Docca received 123,514 votes, or 50.45 percent, while Blaeuer earned 119,411 votes, or 48.77 percent, according to unofficial voting results released by the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Docca currently serves as a member of the Board's Policy Management Committee and the Committee on Special Populations.

In the Board of Education At-Large race, Silver Spring-resident Karla Silvestre defeated Julie Reiley to replace Jill Ortman-Fouse who opted for an unsuccessful run at one of the open At-Large seats on the County Council. She was defeated in the primary. Silvestre earned 130,407 votes, or 51.03 percent, while Reiley garnered 123,121 votes or 48.18 percent.

Silvestre has served as the Director of Community Engagement at Montgomery College since 2014. Currently, Karla works at Montgomery College helping students and prospective students to re-enroll or continue their studies or workforce training at the College.

In an email to supporters, Silvestre wrote, “I am deeply honored to have received the support of so many people throughout Montgomery County and over the past eight months... I am now ready to work with you and the entire community to support and strengthen Montgomery County Public Schools. I promise to do my best for the wonderful students of the County, and look forward to working with my fellow Board members, our Superintendent and staff, parents from all parts of the County, MCCPTA, our teachers, and everyone that values high-quality education.”

In other Board of Education races, incumbent board member Patricia O’Neill won re-election in Board District 3, which includes Potomac, parts of Rockville, Glen Echo, Bethesda, Chevy-Chase, and Garrett Park. O’Neill has been a member of the Board of Education since 1998 and has won her sixth four-year term. O’Neill earned 159,318 votes, or 63.21 percent, while her challenger, Lynn Amano earned 90,945 votes or 36.08 percent.

In District 5, which includes Rockville (east of MD-355), Olney, Sandy Spring, Brookeville, Burtonsville, and Colesville, Brenda Wolfe was elected after running unopposed. She is replacing current Board President Michael Durso, who is retiring.

Docca, O’Neill, Silvestre, and Wolfe will join current members Shebra Evans (District 4), Jeanette Dixon (At-Large), and Rebecca Smondrowski (District 2) and Student Member of the Board Ananya Tadikonda.

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