Mother of three seeks board of education seat

August 01, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

Believing there's always room for improvement, a Washington County mother of three is running for one of three Washington County Board of Education seats that will be open in November's general election.

"I've always tried to be involved in my children's education," said Shawn M. Bryce, 45. "I believe that many perspectives make a healthy board."

This is Bryce's first run for public office. The 11 school board candidates for the Sept. 14 primary will be narrowed to six for the general election.

School board members elected in November will serve four-year terms and earn $6,100 a year. If one of the newly elected members becomes board president, that person's annual salary will be $6,200.


Bryce is a stay-at-home mom who ran her own family child-care business in Severna Park, Md., for eight years before she and her husband, Robert, moved their family to the Mount Aetna area east of Hagerstown in 2004, she said.

That work experience was a "one-person show," with Bryce being the owner, child-care provider and bookkeeper for the home-based business, she said. She took care of up to eight children at a time.

She was president of Smithsburg Middle School's PTA from December 2008 until June 2010, and served on numerous PTA committees since moving to the area, she said.

Bryce said she believes in the importance of parent-community partnerships with the schools and the school system.

In addition to having a son at the middle school, she has a daughter at Smithsburg High and a daughter who is being redistricted from Greenbrier to Old Forge Elementary this school year, Bryce said.

Bryce said she went to meetings and at least one hearing for the most recent redistricting process. That gave her an idea of what the school board job entails, she said.

She also was a member of the Crossfunctional Team to Promote Civil Behavior, a school system committee that, during the spring of 2009, looked at issues such as bullying.

"I've always been interested in education," said Bryce, who has read books about home schooling.

Bryce said she expects budget issues to be contentious and difficult for the next couple of years.

She said she wants to maintain the school system's high standards, continue progress and bring in new ideas.

Shawn M. Bryce

Age: 45

Address: 10228 Easterday Court, east of Hagerstown

Education: Graduated from Hampden Academy, a public high school in Maine. Earned a bachelor's degree in German from the University of Maine and a master of science degree in German from Georgetown University.

Occupation: Mother of three

Party affiliation: Republican, but the race is nonpartisan

Political experience: None

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