Rae Gallagher’s Nomination To Board Of Ed Approved By County Council

The vote was not unanimous.


Frederick, Md (KM) In a 5-2 vote, the Frederick County Council on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Rae Gallagher to the Board of Education. She will replace Joy Schaefer who resigned from the School Board to take on the job of Director of Government Affairs in  the County Executive’s office.

Councilman Phil Dacey voted in opposition, saying he wanted someone with experience on the Board of Ed. “Experience in the budgetary process with the Board of Education is paramount,” he says. “I don’t see the reason for the selection, giving the experience and the needs on the Board of Education as it’s currently constituted.”

His colleague, Councilman Steve McKay, who also voted “no,”  agreed. “I’ve tried to be very open and transparent about how I was approaching this and the criteria I was using in how I was approaching it,” he said. “And the importance that I put in particular on Board of Education experience to me that was criteria bar none, given the nature of this appointment,” he said.

But Council President MC Keegan-Ayer voted in favor. “She {Gallagher}  is bringing a perspective to the Board that I think has been lacking because they have not had anyone who has expertise in helping students who the system has failed, and I think she brings that expertise with her,” Keegan-Ayer said.

Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater echoed that comment. “I was particularly impressed with Ms. Gallagher’s experience working with at-risk youth. And I think the perspective she brings to the table is something that will really be valued on the Board for the length of the term she has to fill,” Fitzwater said.

Gallagher will fill the unexpired term of Joy Schaefer, which will come to an end in December..

After Schaefer announced she was leaving the Board of Education, County Executive Jan Gardner gave the Council more input in picking who would replace Schaefer. 17 letters of interest came from people who wanted to serve on the Board.. The Council conducted interviews, and submitted three names to the County Executive, who would decide which one she will nominate to serve on the School Board. In addition to Gallagher, the names of Ron Peppe and Sue Johnson made the final three. Peppe is a former member of the Board of Education.

County Executive Jan Gardner announced on Monday that Rae Gallagher was her choice.


By Kevin McManus