School board member Jay Mason was elected Wednesday to serve as the next vice president of the Frederick County Board of Education.

Board member Karen Yoho nominated Mason for the position. He takes over for Joy Schaefer, who has served as vice president since last year.

Mason, who was elected to the school board in November 2018 for a four-year term, said in an email that his election takes him back to his first bid to be a Board of Education member in 2016.

“After coming in last in that primary to taking a leadership role on the current Board of Education is a testament to planning and achieving a goal,” Mason said.

The Gov. Thomas Johnson High School graduate holds a master’s in teaching and has done extensive work to eliminate the achievement gap at FCPS, which he said will continue to be a focus of his as vice president.

“I am pleased the achievement gap is incorporated in the strategic plan, so everyone knows that it is a focal point of FCPS. We must continue to work on access and opportunities to eliminate the gap,” Mason said. “That will allow the community to know that we are focusing on each and every student and working toward creating citizens who will have a positive and lasting impact in Frederick County.”

Mason also sits on the board’s Racial Equity Committee and said, although the school system has begun addressing equity, he hopes to do more as he steps into his new leadership role.

“I am excited to continue working on creating a system of equality for all of our students,” Mason said. “I have learned a great deal in my first year on the board. I will continue to be a learner, so I can ensure our students are getting the best education they deserve from Frederick County Public Schools.”

Schaefer said she is pleased that Mason will take over.

“He brings great passion for our goal of equity,” Schaefer said in an email. “And with the knowledge and experience gained through his first year, he will provide effective, compassionate, and strong leadership.”

Although Schaefer’s term on the board doesn’t end until December 2020, she will resign in January to step into her new role as the county’s director of government affairs and public policy.

“It has been one of my greatest honors and privileges to serve in a leadership position on this board. I will miss working with colleagues and staff who are so committed to excellence and working for our children,” she said.

Brad Young was re-elected to serve as board president for another year. Both he and Mason ran unopposed and were elected unanimously by their peers.

Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter: @katrynajill.

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