Montgomery County Board of Education District 5



Published:

NONPARTISAN

 

Paul J. Pykosh

[May 12 update: Pykosh wrote in an email that he is withdrawing from the race.]

• Where you live: Olney

• Date of birth: Oct. 3, 1965

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Renovation lending sales manager, Embrace Hope Loans.

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): No political experience.

• Campaign information:

 

Brenda Wolff

• Where you live: Silver Spring

• Date of birth: August 1952

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Retired from the U.S. Department of Education. Consultant to the Principal’s Panel of the National Assessment of Educational Progress through a contract with CRP Inc.

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): First time running for elected office. District 14 representative on the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.

• Campaign information:

 

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

My experience and leadership skills uniquely qualify me for the Board of Education. I am committed to improving accountability and transparency in policy decisions, providing Pre-K to all 4-year-olds and working for the elimination of the achievement gap.

We need to measure program effectiveness to provide accountability to the community. The benefits of high quality preschool, particularly in underserved communities are undeniable. We need to provide equitable opportunities without regard to zip code.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

I feel that Accountability to the community is an important issue in this race. I want to ensure that our resources are spent on programs that work. The new data systems will identify those areas where we are not attaining desired outcomes.

I will work to ensure that those areas identified receive the resources and support they need so that all students can achieve to the best of their ability.

3 – What is one major issue the current school board has handled poorly and what would you have done differently? (100 words max)

Communication between the Board and the public can be improved. We need to tell our success stories more to the public and identify those areas where we believe we have challenges. Open and honest communication provides accountability and transparency. Educational success strengthens the community both socially and economically. I am committed to seeing the public as a partner when advocating for our students.

4 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

I have held numerous management and leadership positions in the U.S. Department of Education including, Chief Attorney for the Boston Office for Civil Rights; Deputy Director in the Philadelphia Office; Director of the National Institute of Educational Governance, Finance, Policymaking and Management; Acting Director of the National Institute on Education of At-Risk students; and Senior Program manager for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, where I managed a $129 million budget. I am involved in education advocacy organizations and several mentoring programs. I am an education advocate who will work to eliminate disparities and increase opportunities on an equitable basis.

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