Two new Baltimore County school board members, Jane Lichter and Robin Harvey, were elected the panel’s chair and vice chair at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Lichter was nominated to be chair by board member John Offerman, while Harvey was nominated for vice chair by new member Brenda Hatcher-Savoy. Each nomination was unanimously approved, a change from a more divisive contest three years ago when the highest vote-getter was bypassed because she received one vote shy of the seven votes that board guidance said was needed.

Lichter succeeds Julie Henn, who announced last month that she no longer wanted the role. Harvey replaces Rod McMillion as vice chair.

“Thank you for your confidence in me to be the board chair,” Lichter said after the vote.

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She also expressed appreciation to Henn and McMillion for their leadership, to the appointed members for staying on until they are replaced, and to the newly elected members for putting themselves out there during the monthslong campaign.

In a Nov. 18 post, Henn said she told her colleagues that she’d neither pursue nor accept a nomination to be chair or vice chair.

“I look forward to continuing to serve as an individual contributor on the Board and amplifying my voice for the concerns of stakeholders,” she posted on Facebook. “This singular focus will drive my next term.”

Lichter last month defeated Rebecca Chesner to win the District 2 seat. Harvey bested Cory Koons in District 1. Each also was the top vote-getter in the July primary for their respective districts.

Tuesday’s meeting was a first for Lichter, Harvey, Christina Pumphrey (who ran unopposed in District 6), Maggie Litz Domanowski, who won in a contested race in District 3 and Hatcher-Savoy, who won in District 4. They, along with McMillion and Henn, were sworn in at a ceremony Monday morning at Goucher College.

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Lichter and Harvey were among the candidates running in contested races who had the backing of the teachers union and County Executive Johnny A. Olzewski Jr., a Democrat. Domanowski, an administrative assistant and mother of three students enrolled in the county schools, was backed by conservative groups.

Lichter, 60, worked in Baltimore County schools throughout her career before retiring. Her campaign bio notes that she was a special education teacher, language arts resource teacher, early childhood supervisor, language arts coordinator, principal and executive director.

“In my role as executive director for 8 years, I supported and supervised principals throughout the county,” she wrote in her campaign bio. “This afforded me the opportunity to spend considerable time in classrooms, interacting with students and listening, talking, and working with teachers, assistant principals, and principals.”

Lichter is also a lifelong county resident who has lived in Owings Mills and Stevenson, and who attended Pikesville High and Middle schools and Wellwood Elementary. She holds an undergraduate degree in special education from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University. She and her husband have three grown children and a grandson, the bio states.

Early next year, the board will get more new blood when four appointed members come off the board and are replaced by Gov.-elect Wes Moore, a Democrat. Moore takes office on Jan. 18.

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The new board will inherit a number of challenges from the current board, including the fate of Schools Superintendent Darryl Williams. Several members of the County Council urged the school board in June to start looking for a new superintendent, citing concerns about various issues. Williams has said he would like to stay, but that it’s a matter for discussion between him and the board.

If the school system chooses not to renew Williams’ contract, which expires in the summer of 2023, they would need to decide soon on starting a search.

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