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Large field, ideological chasm mark Frederick County school board race

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Early Voting at Trinity

People campaign outside the Trinity Recreation Center on Thursday on the first day of early voting in Maryland.

When Karen Yoho ran her first campaign for the Frederick County Board of Education four years ago, she checked public voting records from the previous election.  

The information allowed the retired elementary school teacher to see the addresses of every county resident who voted in the school board race two years earlier. They were the most likely to vote again, she figured, so she’d knock on their doors — every one she could — and ask for their support. 

Old slate

An image from an internet archive of the Education Not Indoctrination slate’s old webpage shows Ashley Nieves as one of the group’s candidates. Nieves split off from the slate and launched her own campaign in October 2021.

Board Heath Comment

Frederick County Board of Education candidates April Montgomery and Tiffany Noble, center, were among those who protested potential updates to Frederick County Public Schools’ health curriculum at an emotional meeting in April.

Early Voting Signs Thurmont

Campaign signs outside Thurmont Regional Library on Thursday.

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek

Education reporter

Jillian Atelsek covers education for The Frederick News-Post. She grew up near Woodsboro, attended Walkersville High School and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2020 with degrees in journalism and history.

(48) comments

gabrielshorn2013

""When you learn during a pandemic your local schools are teaching men can have babies, secrets are kept from parents, all white people are born racists, healthy young people are forced to hide their faces behind masks and special interest groups have taken control of your classrooms," the video says, "what do you do?""

Are these people for real? Please provide references to where any of these statements can be supported. Y'all have lost your minds!

Tanstaafl

My thoughts too! Fellow needs to be educated!

gabrielshorn2013

""When you try to meet in the middle with issues like this, you're not meeting in the middle," Joannides said. "You're giving up a principle." "

Yeah, that's what we like to see, binary and rigid thinking. I can see their report cards now from when they were kids, "doesn't play well with others", and performance reviews as adults "doesn't work well with others". Does that sound like a successful behavior? Nope. Next.

phydeaux994

We’re comparing Apples and “Orangers” here. Apples are better.

mrnatural1

[wink] Phy.

FrederickFan

[thumbup] Well done there.

marylandmirage1

I will be voting for the "Apple Candidates". People need to realize that they need to stop jerking teachers around. Teachers are professionals who have spent quite a bit of time and money to be well trained educators, and most of them are quite knowledgeable about the subjects they teach. They are much more than well-paid babysitters - they are there to instruct. The burn-out rate for teachers, especially with the pandemic restrictions, is extremely high. To have a group of parents telling them how to do their job while trying to follow curriculum for a larger group of children is near impossible. What does everybody think will happen if there aren't enough teachers to have classes full-time? The group that is trying to control curriculum to exclude diversity evidently don't let their kids ride the school bus, either. Children are exposed to more (mis)information on a school bus than they ever will be in the classroom.

Hayduke2

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Boomer631B

This article could have been written without even mentioning any candidates by their names and then write an editorial who the paper supports... this whole idea by Yoho as if she is and her other Apple Ballot candidates are somehow the best for the BOE... especially one must take in consideration of their indirect support from the unions... no thank you on Yoho and the Apple Ballot candidates. Glad Young is moving on and these current members up for re-election need to be defeated... their non-transparent agendas are not what we want in the county...

Hayduke2

Nonsense! As an aside, what union that you know of ( or any group of workers ) wouldn't support candidates that would be best for their chosen profession. Your unreasonable take and anger spill over into everything you post.

Boomer631B

kind of subjective on your part to talk about my unreasonable take or anger... I have NO anger at these current board members just do not like how they operate. Real interesting how the other side takes any one that does not agree with their position as if we are anger, no to the contrary we are using our free speech rights to voice our opinion and frankly yes I do expect the union leadership to continue to support those who will keep them in power over time and put in place policies that are destructive in nature... the teacher union and the education unions have destroyed the public education system in our big cities and for decades now they have continue to take the money and not deliver on a solid education of those cities children... quite sad.

phydeaux994

You’re just voting for the candidates who were against mandating masks, not a dang thing to do with Education.

DickD

Anger? Didn't you support Trump? Enough said because we know what a crook Trump was and is.

Hayduke2

Come on boomer!! You make claims that show the same anger as those far right candidates. When was the last time you had any meaningful interaction with educators or schools?

Tanstaafl

Not true. American education, even at University levels, has been dumbed down too far to recover.

Supporting schools with property taxes never works. There is a long term plan, originated by ALEC groups, that now pushes agressive disruptions of BOE meetings you read about. Most do not live in the areas too. But paid by ALEC...

As far as teacher pay, just a few years ago, Frederick asked retired professionals from NIH

and other high valued backgrounds to teach in public schools. A dear friend from NIH did so..Enjoyed very much but disturbed by loss of thinking/problem solving abilities, lower reading and writing skills, just basic stuff, from our school days in 60s.

Teachers were once respected in towns as examples to emulate in a Democratic Society. Now teaching is ridiculed. Intentionally many think.

TrekMan

You mean candidates that best support the union I believe.

phydeaux994

What is wrong with supporting the Union? Without the Union the Teachers would be worse off than they are now. The Union is the only protection they have and need from their Administration and the Parents. Teaching is a tough job, burnout is common and the situation they have been in over the past 2 1/2 years is causing many to leave. They don’t need a hostile School Board to make the job more difficult.

KAYoho

90% of FCPS teachers belong to the union. I support the teachers!

Sycamore1041

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

gfmarkie

Not what YOU want Boomer. The citizens of Frederick County can speak for themselves.

DickD

And you would prefer a bunch of "scabs"? And you probably think unions are not necessary too. Get loss, Boomer!

AOC

Boomer, the real problem is the Apple ballot is infested with worms.

Hayduke2

Nope, close minded thinking like yours is the real problem.

AOC

If you think it is close minded you have validated it is good thinking. You should be prepared for the general election outcome. Be sure to have your pacifier and security blank at the ready. You are going to need it.

Hayduke2

Lots of words, nothing said

Aslan19

@Hayduke, thanks for a laugh! You are complaining about closed-minded people while being closed-minded. Hello Mr. Pot, Mr. Kettle is over there.

phydeaux994

And the worms are the agitator eight. Our schools are still recovering from the trauma of the Pandemic. They need people that want to help them do that, not people who want to tear them down.

FrederickFan

How did we ever get so many crazy candidates? Vote for candidates who care about education and student success - Rae Gallagher, Dean Rose, Ysela Bravo, and Karen Yoho. Let common sense and intelligence guide our school system.

jjmrlife

Thank you! In TEAM there is no I.

threecents

but there is me

AOC

Rae was unable to hold her Jan appointed BOE seat nor could Lois. Bravo ran for a delegate seat last election and was rejected by voters. Yoho, a retired teacher, claimed to be bringing her vast school system knowledge to the BOE. Yet never had a clue about the unlawful use of seclusion. And stated publicly FCPS did not do anything ilegal, until someone corrected her. Dean Rose has a chance to gain a seat. Should Gilligan's Island be rebooted Yoho could be cast as Mrs. Thruston Howell III.

Aslan19

@Frederick, do you know the definition of insanity? It is trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

The other applicable saying is don't let the fox guard the hen house. Having active or former teachers involved in the determination of school budgets and contracts is a hard and fast no, regardless of any other policy position the candidate holds.

bhall74

"Meanwhile, Yoho’s group — the “apple ballot” candidates endorsed by the Frederick County Teachers Association, the Frederick Association of School Support Employees and the Frederick County Administrative and Supervisory Association — are running more traditional campaigns."

In other words, this slate of candidates, if elected, will be "owned" by the teacher's union and FCPS employees. This is a major conflict of interest in every sense of the word.

DMSchobel

bhall74 How is an endorsement a "major conflict of interest in every sense of the word" and "owned" by the teacher's union and FCPS employees"? Candidates get endorsements from various groups all of the time. How exactly are you thinking that this is going to work?

TrekMan

Because they're all in cahoots!! Hahahahahahah (I kid)!

Fredginrickey

As opposed to the whacko Slate “owned” by Ian Pryor’s “Fight for Schools” PAC?

Pryor created this movement to elect Republicans by scaring parents with garbage claims of indoctrination.

Pryor, a former Trump appointee, who worked for Jeff Sessions, and previously cofounded a PAC with the infamous Karl Rove, works for far right Republican candidates by ginning up the RWNJ base.

It worked in Virginia, after he led an uprising (so Trumpian) in Loudon County, which led to Youngkin’s victory, which is why it has been copied all over the country.

A vote for the Slate, is a vote for Hate.

Hayduke2

Nonsense! As an aside, what union that you know of ( or any group of workers ) wouldn't support candidates that would be best for their chosen profession. Your unreasonable take and anger spill over into everything you post.

DickD

How is it a conflict, bhall? They have a common goal and they aren't trying to overturn an election, as your hero, Trump was.

threecents

An endorsement by the union means they are owned by the union? And they have a conflict of interest - in every sense of the word, no less?? That is impressive logic.

micky

"Accepted, welcome and safe ?? How about reading, writing and arithmetic ??

gfmarkie

How can you effectively teach reading, writing and arithmetic to those students who are constantly being labeled and do not feel safe in the classroom? It is not and should not be an either or situation.

Hayduke2

Spoken like someone who has NO idea of what education is! Period.

benhem612

Without Accepted, welcome and safe - reading, writing and arithmetic become impossible. One supports the other and they aren't mutually exclusive.

Tanstaafl

So yu support right-wing support having srmed police in all school buildings? Right?

threecents

Today's kids are good at walking and chewing gum

Hayduke2

Sorry, but today's kids are as capable and aware as any of the past generations.

threecents

[thumbup]From my experience today's kids are remarkable.

threecents

I meant that in a good way - they can walk and chew gum at the same time...

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