Saturday, October 28, 2006


Please join me in a night of fun, food, music and celebration.

Friday, November 3, 2006
Gilligan's Pier (Pier III)
Seafood & Chicken Buffet (mmm! crab balls and spiced shrimp)
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
$25 per person in advance
$30 at the door

Smith Tucker Band performing 7:00 - 10:00 pm

For tickets please click on the link below and specify the quantity needed along with you mailing address and telephone number.

Yours in service,
Jennifer Abell

Letter of Endorsement

The letter below was submitted to the Maryland Independent and the Washington Post. as well as copied to me for posting.
October 23, 2006

Dear Editor,
I believe Jennifer Abell, School Board Candidate, is completely misunderstood. People who don't know Jennifer accuse her of having a hidden agenda, being a religious freak, and serving on the board to meet her own needs. Well her own needs are a high quality education for the students (she has four enrolled in county schools), committed, caring and qualified staff (this is the only way to reach goal number one), top notch facilities with state of the art technology (being fiscally smart in order to make the best use of limited funds) and an appropriate learning environment (safety first!) that will enable all students to be successful and reach their potential.

Jennifer Abell is one of the hardest working, most conscientious members of the board, and, one of the best advocates for education in Charles County. She's not just talk. She is the one member who continually listens to all sides, researches the issues, and utilizes all resources available before making decisions. She's devout in her religion, but she NEVER pushes her religious beliefs on anyone else. She knows I'm Jewish, and we've discussed the differences in our religions, but she's made it quite clear that religion is best taught at home. She would never support distributing bibles in school nor would she support the teaching of creationism. I am very sure about this, and would not support her if this were not the case.

Jennifer doesn't have a hidden agenda. The agenda she has is outlined above. She believes the Board meetings should be televised, or held at a time that is convenient for parents, teachers and staff to attend ? because there is nothing to hide. She believes in teaching abstinence, but she?s also wise enough to know that more is needed in regards to sex education. She believes in academic rigor, increases in teacher salaries, and parents involved in their child?s education. Most importantly, she wants to help the schools succeed in leaving "no child left behind" but she also wants the schools to ensure that bright children are allowed to more forward.

Don't believe me? Clear up the misunderstanding by checking out her blog site at You?ll find out where she stands on all the issues. Thanks for your understanding.

Donna Liberman
La Plata

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Lacrosse in Charles County? Yes it might finally happen. After numerous emails from students and parents requesting the sport to be added at the high school level, it might finally happen. Currently, the sport is played in our surrounding counties and Charles County students want to play too!
During the October Board meeting, Ms. Jan Johnson , Specialist in Athletics, gave an oral report regarding the status of lacrosse in Charles County. The good news is it looks as though there is enough support to have lacrosse in the county high schools. The bad news is it looks as though it won't be available until 2008-2009. As with everything involving government, it is a slow process. For those of you pulling for this to happen, stay diligent and you shall prevail.

Year-Round School

The subject of year-round schooling has come up on several occasions at the candidate forums. I personally have not done a lot of research on the topic but find it very intriguing. From what I have read it seems to aid students in retention of information, provides the teachers with much needed respite to regroup, and is very economical for the system. I don't see how it would benefit us as far as the overcrowding issue because it would still be the same number of students.
The ideal hypothetical scenario I was envisioning would be three months of school Sept-Oct-Nov; 1 month off Dec; three months on Jan-Feb-Mar; 1 month off Apr; three months on May-Jun-Jul; 1 month off Aug. My rationale...the students are off 7-10 days in December any way and are in need of a break and families travel for the holidays; April break because students are off 7-10 days again during this month for spring break and families travel; and then August for families to participate in a summer vacation.
Of course this schedule would reek havoc on the summer sports schedule such as the summer swim league.
Again, I would never promote or support a change of this nature without thorough research, and public input/debate.
Please weigh-in Charles County and let me know what you are thinking.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Soccer Fields vs. Police Sub-Stations

At the October 10th meeting the BOE voted to surplus land back to the county to build police sub-stations. The land is at TSHS & Jenifer Elementary . Minutes will reflect in Nov. , Young voted against the motion, & I abstained. Young tried to make an amendment to the motion to delay the Jenifer transaction until we received more information (i.e., impact on soccer community and field size). I seconded the motion but it failed. Young & I were the only two voting yes to the amendment.
As Ms. Young predicted, when we were first informed of this "opportunity," the soccer community started roaring when they found out one of their practice fields was eliminated. These are high-use fields and are in constant use. Yes, we have PLAYING fields, but the powers that be don't like teams practicing on the "good" (playing) fields because then they won't be in proper shape for games. To my knowledge, Jenifer is not used for games. Some coaches have resorted to practicing at fields in PG County. How sad it is that we can't provide sufficient practice facilities for our own youth. How utterly inconvenient for parents who furiously drive home from work only to turn around & drive back up to PG County for their childs soccer practice.
The motion to surplus the land passedbut included a stipulation to retain a soccer field at the Jenifer site. Currently, there is 1 large field & 1 very small field.

The Board was first told that the commissioners approached us & wanted us to surplus these pieces of land to them. In exchange they would renovate the Adult Ed Bldg.
IAfter speaking with a couple of the commissioners we were told the need for substations was discussed publicly but, the commissioners did not approach the BOE; the BOE came to them & "offered up" the land. This was odd. First, the BOE never discussed approaching the commissioners to do this. Second, why would we or staff do that out of the blue? We were never told they were looking for sites for substations. It just wasn?t adding up. This was very conflicting information.
The commissioners said we offered up land first & CCPS staff says the commissioners approached us first. Hmm? Mr. Bailey says Cooper met with him & Richmond near the beginning of Oct. at one of their regularly scheduled meetings. (This may start a whole new thread about transparency issues. Mr Bailey has been asked before to provide the rest of the board with notes from his meetings with Cooper & Richmond so we could all be on the same page. His response, "There are no meetings, so there are no notes.") Hmmm.....
Bailey says Cooper brought up the issue during the regularly scheduled bimonthly meeting in Oct..
Why weren?t we told about that meeting & why weren?t we given information about the issue prior to our board meeting. Bailey says we should have received the information by e-mail and fax prior to the Board meeting. Our secretary says a memo was composed & was originally intended to be distributed 5 days prior to our meeting. After further discussion between Bailey & another staff member it was decided the information would not be sent. They determined the information would be distributed (for the first time) in executive session. We still didn?t receive the written information then either.
We were told this had to be rushed because a state agency must ultimately approve the transaction, & that agency meets at the end of Oct.. If we didn?t vote on it immediately the "deal" would be delayed 3 months.

Please let me know how you feel about removing our youths soccer fields in order to build police sub-stations.

Overcrowded Schools

The biggest problem facing our school system is meeting the demands of our rapidly growing county and the resulting overcrowding of our schools. The Board of Education cannot solve this problem by itself. We (the Board of Education, the Commissioners, the delegation, and the community) need to support aggressive pursuit of maximum local and state funding for construction of new schools, and work with the IAC to pursue changes to the state funding formula. Next, the BOE needs to work with the Commissioners on changing the APFO Allocations. In addition to all of the above, the BOE needs to look to alternative ways of funding the construction of new schools. For example, in Montgomery County they have had some developers build schools and lease the building back to the county for a set number of years and then the county owns the building (rent to own). Please let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Letter to the Editor #3

Printed in the Maryland Independent on Wednesday October 11, 2006.
Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to several letters to the editor that ran on October 6, 2006. Mr. Brady, on par with other EACC members, once again attempts to mislead readers and alleges a religious voting bloc of Abell, Young, Crawford, and Bailey. However, this science teacher does not provide the readers with any factual data to support his allegation. So, I've taken heed from my own advice and hit the homework books once again.

I have reviewed all minutes and public voting records from the time of my appointment in June of 2004, up to and including September, 19, 2006. I found 293 total votes over those 27 months. I will let the statistics speak for themselves, for they ring loud and clear over the din of the EACC's continual flow of misinformation.

As a board we have cast unanimous votes 117 times. This is a 40% agreement rate for a board that the EACC and the media have attempted to label and portray as divisive.

From 293 total votes, the alleged "religious voting bloc" of Bailey, Crawford, Abell, and Young voted together a whopping 16 times over the course of 27 months. Do the math, and it comes out to a 5% rate.

While doing my homework, the data also revealed two other interesting voting trends. The bloc of Crawford, Wade, Coggins, and Marshall voted together 16 times too, however that has been in the past 6 months alone. Over the same aforementioned 27-month period, Bailey, Wade, Crawford, and Marshall voted together 8 times. This information could lead one to conclude the "split" was never really along so called religious lines, but rather along gender lines.

Please feel free to contact me via e-mail at and I will be happy to provide you with the hard, cold data.

In addition, I believe the public will have a difficult time choosing from among so many qualified candidates who are committed to the education of our children. I would be honored to serve with any of them. The candidates each have unique styles and opinions. So I urge you once again, to do your own homework, don't rely on "little apple ballots", or rumors and innuendos in the editorial section of the paper. Instead, choose a candidate whose style and opinions are best for you.

Jennifer Abell