Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Eric Grannon On School Board
From the Capital-Gazette:
Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday appointed Eric Grannon to the District 33 seat on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, according to Hogan spokesman Matt Clark.
Grannon, an attorney at a Washington, D.C., law firm, was among five candidates the School Board Nominating Commission recommended to Hogan late Monday night.
Grannon, 44, a Davidsonville resident, said Tuesday evening he was "grateful" for the appointment, but declined to comment further. His term begins July 1.
Schools Superintendent George Arlotto "looks forward to building a relationship with Mr. Grannon and working with him and all of our Board members as we continue to move our school system forward and support the 80,000 students we educate every day," schools spokesman Bob Mosier said in a statement.
Some local leaders stressed the importance of African-American representation on the school board after Hogan last month declined to reappoint board member Solon Webb, resulting in a lack of an African-American member for the first time in about four decades. Webb said that, as an African-American, he was personally familiar with the issues within the community.
County Executive Steve Schuh wrote in a guest column in The Capital that the governor is "focused on assuring that the African-American community is represented on the Anne Arundel County school board." The county executive on Tuesday said he's "excited the governor has chosen someone with such an exciting life story and perspective on education."
Clark said Hogan values and strives for diversity, but he picked Grannon for his strong resume and involvement in his school community, among his other attributes.
Grannon told the commission during his interview Monday that he grew up in a struggling family in Brooklyn, New York, and quality public schools and magnet programs helped him succeed.
A former Republican candidate for Anne Arundel County State's Attorney, Grannon said he doesn't have any opinions about issues such as school construction priorities, collective bargaining issues and Common Core. He said he's open to research, data and ideas, and is passionate about improving education for children.
Grannon told the commission that school staff can't change the struggles of students' home lives, but they can make a difference the hours students are in school. He shared with the commission anecdotes about his elementary-age son's academic achievement, and said he hoped other students can achieve the same success. He wants the school system to renovate aging buildings, close the opportunity gap and focus on childhood literacy.
Allison Pickard is currently representing District 33 and was among the candidates Hogan considered. She could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
District 33 includes Severna Park, Severn, Millersville and Crofton.