Thursday, March 06, 2014

Abell files to continue work on board of education

Cites technology as key area of interest, growth

Gretchen Phillips, Staff Writer
Southern Maryland News
March 5, 2014 

After 10 years on the school board, Jennifer S. Abell said she is ready, willing and able to serve more.

Abell filed last week for re-election to the Charles County Board of Education. Seven seats are available, and there are 20 candidates in the race.

Abell, 45, of La Plata said she wants to “continue the work we’ve already started on the board of education.”

She and Michael “Mike” Lukas are the only two incumbents to file for re-election.

She cited her involvement on the Adequate Public Facilities committee, which is working to balance development with school capacity; and a board subcommittee working to let students bring and use their personal electronic devices, such as tablets, to school. She said she would like to be on the board when telepresence in all high schools is used for students dual enrolled at the College of Southern Maryland. These are all things that she has been a part of while on the school board, and she would like to see them through.

“When I first started in 2004, we didn’t even have televised meetings,” she said.

Abell said she considers herself on the forefront when it comes to technology, and she would like to continue advocating students to use their tablets and to get schools to embrace e-books.

Abell said she will rely on technology and word of mouth only for her campaign.
“I will not be accepting any campaign contributions or donations, and I will not be spending any money on campaign advertising. I will do it all via social media and word of mouth.”

During the 2010 election, Abell took the same approach and won the second highest vote total in the school board race next to current board Chairwoman Roberta S. Wise.

As for the APF committee and the several months worth of work it has done to find balance with school capacity and development, “I want to see it actually balance,” Abell said.

Abell is the March of Dimes division director for Suburban Maryland. She also sits on the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Board for five counties including Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s.

She volunteers on many boards and committees in the community including the Partnership for a Healthier Charles County. If re-elected she said she is “ready to take on responsibility, willing to set high standards for education and able to meet the challenges necessary for the future of our children.”

Abell is a graduate of Thomas Stone High School and has had four children go through county public schools. She currently has a child at Maurice J. McDonough High School.

She said she has a “proven track record of thinking independently and not along with the mainstream.”

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