Governor O’Malley Nominates Maryland State Board Of Education Members

Walsh, Walks and DeGraffenreidt to Join Board in July 2008; Members to Replace Outgoing Board Members

ANNAPOLIS (Dec. 12, 2007) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the nomination of three new members to the Maryland State Board of Education. The new members will begin serving a four-year term beginning on July 1, 2008, and along with four members appointed by the Governor earlier this year, will replace the outgoing school board. The new members must be confirmed by the Maryland State Senate during the 2008 legislative session.

The Maryland State Board of Education members appointed today by Governor O’Malley include: Kate Walsh, President of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), Dr. Ivan C.A. Walks, who is CEO and President of Ivan Walks and Associates and former Chief Health Officer for the District of Columbia, James H. DeGraffenreidt, Jr. Chairman of the board and chief executive officer of WGL Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Washington Gas.

“I am proud to nominate these three highly-professional and qualified candidates to the Maryland State Board of Education,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Each of them brings a wealth of experience in administration and management and a commitment to the children, teachers, principals and taxpayers of our State.”

“Public education makes up almost 50% of Maryland’s state budget so it is imperative that we have board members who are committed to increasing accountability for parents, students and teachers to take Maryland schools to the next level.”

Governor O’Malley’s appointments to the state school board are committed to developing strategies to work with and listen to teachers in the classroom, recruit and retain strong school principals who will ensure high standards, use proven models of success to create the workforce of tomorrow, and forge partnerships to improve the physical, mental, and nutritional health of our students.

“I am confident that the new State Board of Education will take the steps necessary to promote and accelerate improvement and success in our schools and provide students with the basic, critical-thinking, and technical skills they need to succeed in life and in the global economy.”

“As Maryland’s student population and workforce become more diverse and as new jobs requiring skills in science, technology, engineering, and math come to the state as a result of economic growth and BRAC, our new Board will help ensure that K-12 education is a part of an integrated statewide system to better prepare students for the 21st Century.”

Kate Walsh currently serves as President of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and has served as President since 2002. Prior to serving as President for NCTQ, she served as senior program officer with The Abell Foundation, and also served on the staff for Baltimore City Public Schools and Core Knowledge Foundation.

Through her work, Walsh is committed to addressing educational inequities and the nation’s achievement gap. Her work includes launching a highly successful program for gifted public school students that regularly produces finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search and starting the Baraka School, a unique boarding school located in Kenya established for the purpose of educating troubled and at-risk boys from Baltimore City. Ms. Walsh resides in Catonsville, Maryland in Baltimore County. She is married and the mother of four children.

“I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to work in my home state to address critical educational issues about which I feel so passionately,” Ms. Walsh said. “I also look forward to meeting and working with this talented and diverse group of board members, confident that we will find much common ground through our commitment to children and shared interest in moving Maryland forward.”

Ivan C.A. Walks, M.D. is the CEO and President of Ivan Walks and Associates in Montgomery County. He is a former Chief Health Officer for the District of Columbia and was the Director of the Department of Public Health for the District. During his tenure, Dr. Walks re-engineered a failing public hospital system into the DC Healthcare Alliance. Dr. Walks was instrumental in establishing a District-wide health policy, and was instrumental in developing proactive programs and interventions that resulted in a twenty percent drop in infant mortality, the lowest rate and unprecedented reduction in the District’s history. During the anthrax attacks in October 2001, Dr. Walks became the regional incident commander charged with coordination and response of local, regional and federal public health resources. As a result, Dr. Walks was designated “Public Health Hero” from the American Public Health Association and has since become internationally recognized in the areas of public health surveillance, health literacy, cultural competency, critical incident response and emergency management.

He received his M.D. from the University of California at Davis School of Medicine, is a U.S. military veteran, a licensed neuro-psychiatrist, and is active with the Leadership for State Health Officials program of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Services Management and Leadership at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, an Associate Professor at the Howard University School of Public Health, and a member of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMSHA) Cadre of Consultants who most recently provided culturally sensitive behavioral health-based disaster recovery support to refugees in the Gulf coast region in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Earlier this year, Dr. Walks was also appointed to Maryland’s Health Care Access and Reimbursement Task Force. Dr. Walks is married and has two children.

“I am honored and humbled that Governor Martin O’Malley has afforded me this opportunity to serve,” said Dr. Walks. “I am excited about and the support the Governor’s vision for Education in the State of Maryland. As a parent and a physician educator who has worked closely with educators across the country, I look forward to learning from and working closely with all who are committed to ensuring that our children have the opportunity to excel in Maryland’s schools.”

James H. DeGraffenreidt, Jr. is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of WGL Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Washington Gas. Mr. DeGraffenreidt also serves as chairman, and CEO of Washington Gas, which serves over 980,000 customers in the Washington metropolitan area and surrounding region. In that capacity, Mr. DeGraffenreidt’s responsibilities include administrative support, human resources, information technology, environment, safety, engineering, and corporate relations. He has also served as Senior Vice President responsible for Rates and Regulatory Affairs and the company’s operating divisions in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Prior to joining Washington Gas, Mr. DeGraffenreidt practiced law at several law firms, and as Assistant People’s Counsel specializing in telecommunications public utilities and public finance. Mr. DeGraffenreidt joined Washington Gas in 1986 as senior managing attorney. He was then responsible for coordinating all rate cases and other regulatory matters before the commissions that regulate the utility’s service territories. He was elected vice president of Rates and Regulatory Affairs in 1991.

Mr. DeGraffenreidt serves on numerous boards, including the American Gas Association, Alliance to Save Energy, MedStar Health, Harbor Bankshares Corporation, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Maryland Science Center, the Walters Art Museum and the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Mr. DeGraffenreidt received the degrees of Juris Doctor and Master of Business administration from Columbia University in 1978 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College in 1974. He is married with four children.

“I am honored for the opportunity to help the Governor advance his vision for the education of our children in the State of Maryland,” said Mr. DeGraffenreidt.

In March, Governor O’Malley appointed five new members to the Maryland State Board of Education: Charlene M. Dukes, Blair G. Ewing, Mary Kay Finan, Rosa M. Garcia, and Renford G. Freemantle as the student representative.

Source: Governor Martin O’Malley's Office

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