A member of the Frederick County School Board has been named to head up a state organization. Katie Groth was elected president of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education. She will serve a one-year term.
"I'm very honored I was chosen by my peers to do this work," she says. "I am very pleased to have the opportunity."
Groth says MABE has representation from all 24 school system in the state, and has 160 members. She says MABE provides professional development and advocacy training for its members. It also offers services such as liability insurance and board of education documents. "And the organization, MABE, is there to represent all boards of education in Maryland. When I put my hat on to go a MABE meeting, I represent all 24 boards, even though I'm from Frederick County and proud to say so," she says.
But being president of MABE does bring some prestige to Frederick County, Groth says. "It means that one of their members has stepped up to a state-level leadership. It looks at the way we conduct our business as a school board here in Frederick County," says Groth.
She says public education faces many challenges, but probably the most difficult is providing services on lean budgets. "In Frederick County, we have a very high number of English-language learners," says Groth. She says that makes Frederick County different from other jurisdictions. "But that is one of the challenges: trying to provide the programming and staffing we need to do the best we can for that group of children when we're still functioning on a maintenance of effort budget locally."
Groth was appointed to the Frederick County Board of Education in 2004, and was elected on her own after that.
MABE says Groth has been very active with the organization, serving on several committees. She has also completed MABE's professional development program, and Boardsmanship Academy.
Also named to the MABE Board of Directors was Jean Smith, a long time member of the Frederick County School Board.