2020 Howard County BOE Election Result

This is not the final result. However, the votes counted right now tell us following candidates are winners:

  • District 1: Christina Delmont-Small
  • District 2: Antonia Barkley Watts
  • District 3: Jolene Mosley
  • District 4: Jen Mallo. Sezin Palmer is 4.3%, 1086 votes (out of 25122 total) less than Jen Mallo right now.
  • District 5: Yun Lu

District 1, 2, 3 and 5 are pretty determined now. This is the first time when we have BOE election by district. They will server 4 years.

Board of Education Virtual Town Hall on Spring Semester, Nov. 9 2020

  Board of Education Virtual Town Hall on Spring Semester, Nov. 9As part of ongoing efforts to receive stakeholder feedback and answer questions related to the 2020-2021 spring semester, the Howard County Board of Education will host a virtual town hall, Monday, November 9 from 7-9 p.m.

The event will be streamed live and may be viewed on the HCPSS website, or on Comcast channel 95/Verizon 42 in Howard County.

The town hall will feature a panel of HCPSS leadership and Central Office staff, who will respond to pre-submitted questions. Panelists will address as many of the submitted questions as possible within the two-hour time period.

Any staff, students, parents/guardians or community members may submit questions via Google form, which closes at 7 a.m., Monday, November 9.Submit your question

Please note, there is a scheduled Board of Education meeting Thursday, November 5, during which a proposed hybrid model for the spring semester will be presented. That proposal will be available on the BoardDocs website by the start of the presentation. Stakeholders may find it useful to submit questions after reviewing the proposed hybrid model.Additionally, all stakeholders may continue to provide input to the Board of Education by emailing spring-input@hcpss.org.  

Eliminate fee in lieu development loophole

My short comment on The Business Monthly

I appreciate Mrs. Lisa Markovitz’s article “Can we get affordable housing more affordable”.

I totally agree with that: “this “fee in lieu of” has created a concentration of AFUs in areas with lower-priced housing”. I am seeing a few low-incoming housing projects are being proposed in the low-incoming neighborhoods now. Our advocates on affordable housing either from the community, the county council or the county government should work to remove this “pay as you go” approach. The county has the legal authority to set the criteria for the new development to meet both the affordable housing requirement and APFO standards. We should not allow developers to set this policy. 

There are several  key questions to be answered. What is a reasonable level and distribution of affordable housing units in the whole county? How much more development the county can consume in each area considering APFO? Please take consideration of the cost of infrastructure (school capacity, for example) as another key parameter. What is the highest percentage of affordable housing which will prevent developers not building houses in Howard County anymore? 
I hope this kind of information is publicly available for our county residents to see and understand and guide our policy-makers on new housing developments. 

(25) 2020 Interview with Saniya Vashist, River Hill High School, Stanford University

(25) 2020 Interview with Saniya Vashist, River Hill High School, Stanford University

Ms. Saniya Vashist graduated from River Hill School in 2020. She is attending Stanford University, majoring International Relations and Economics.

Saniya will talk about her gap year choice and her experience receiving support from the Bill&Melinda Gaits Foundation on her CodeHer project. codeHER is an international female youth-run nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls, minorities, and at-risk youth. This project was reported on BaltimoreSun https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland…

You will find more interesting story from her in this interview. Please tune in.

(24) 2020 Interview with Luz Angelica Serna, Hammond High School, University of Maryland

(24) 2020 Interview with Luz Angelica Serna, Hammond High School, University of Maryland

Ms. Luz Angelica Serna graduated from Hammond High School in 2019. She is attending University of Maryland, Baltimore County, majoring in psychology.

In the interview, Luz shared her experience on to balance on activities, overcoming challenges and charged forward to find her interest. Luz also shared why she chose UMBC and psychology as her major. She also talked about the challenge Hammond High School was facing, for example, not renovated for a long time. The good news is that Hammond High School is under renovation (unfortunately after Luz’s graduation) and due to complete in 2023.

There is more to learn. Please tune in.

My article on Baltimore Sun: Proposal for central library in downtown Columbia

I wrote a short article on the Baltimore Sun ( which will be shared on Howard County Times, Columbia Flier).

I am worried about the lack of coherent plan and long term vision for the county. There is a plan to relocate the central library in the 2016 Downtown Columbia TIF plan. Now the County Executive and County Council changed hand, there has not been any discussion (or serious discussion) any more. Recent discussion on the Toby theater, Downtown Culture Center, Affordable housing prompted me to write this article. Columbia will be totally built out soon and we need to process with caution on every land use.

I also shared similar concerns during yesterday’s BOE and County Council meeting. Where do we find school site land for the students from planned 30,000 population for Downtown Columbia?

Any decisions we make today will have a long-term impact for our future. One example is the Turf Vally development where APFO requirement was waived and no school site was reserved. Now we need pay over 6.5 million dollars for an elementary school site (around 10 acres). If they planned/reserved for a school site 20 years, it was probably free.

The reality is that people made those decision some time ago either moved up or retired. We are bearing the consequence now. I believe we can do better.

(23) 2020 Interview with Abigail Furman, Howard High School, UMCP

(23) 2020 Interview with Abigail Furman, Howard High School, UMCP

Ms. Abigail Furman graduated from Howard High School in 2020. She will join University of Maryland, College Park and her major is English, Literature and Language.

Abigail shared her way to have a good routine using a hand-written calendar in her senior, jogging between academics, extra-curriculum activities and internships. She discussed her experience in the Project Lead the Way at ARL, which was difficult, but very valuable. Her advice: That one test does not matter. It is going to be OK. Don’t burn out.

Please tune in for more.

(22) 2020 Interview with Bridgette Kim, Johns Hopkins University

(22) 2020 Interview with Bridgette Kim, Johns Hopkins University

Ms. Bridgette Kim graduated from Pointers Run Elementary School and Lime Kiln Middle School and Our Lady of Good Counsel High School of Montgomery County in 2019. She is attending the Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University.

Bridgette is the first student I interviewed who graduated from a private high school, but attended the elementary school and middle school in HCPSS. In the interview, she compared the difference between her private high school experience and her friends’ HCPSS experience. She talked about sports, academics, clubs and many extra-curriculum activities, even her college intern experience. She is actively serving communities both locally and in Baltimore City.

There is more to share. Please tune in.

(21) 2020 Interview with Ian Lang, Wilde Lake High School, UMBC

(21) 2020 Interview with Ian Lang, Wilde Lake High School, UMBC

Mr. Ian Lang, graduated from Wilde Lake High School in 2019. He is attending University of Maryland, Baltimore County, majoring mathematics and economics. I

n high school, he did a lot of music program. His challenge in the senior year came from his chamber choir, a GT level choir course. He adjusted his learning style and pace eventually and built his confidence. He also shared his experience on how he received his first C grade, and then adjust himself and overcame the challenge. He found his interest in math and eventually chose math as his major, while exploring interest in economics.

There are more to share. Please tune in.

HCPSS superintendent’s report 2020-10-08

In this week’s report, Dr. Martirano talked about

  • Recognition of National Board Certified Nurses,
  • Jumpstart Participation
  • Partnership Report
  • Online Learning
  • Small Group In-Person Support
  • SRO Review Process
  • Hybrid/Transportation Survey
  • Meals
  • Testing
  • Access to Learning Fund and Bright Minds Golf Tournament Update
  • Social distancing/health reminder
  • Athletics

The report is here: