Local activist appointed to Board of Education

Dec. 2, 2004, midnight | By Anthony Glynn | 19 years, 4 months ago

Recently vacated seat filled by Nancy Navarro

Nancy Navarro was inaugurated, along with Valerie Ervin, on Wednesday, Dec. 1 onto the Board of Education (BOE). Community activist Navarro was appointed by the BOE members to fill the seat left by Henry Lee only weeks earlier.

BOE member Lee resigned for personal reasons about 10 days before the Nov. 1 election. Lee represented Montgomery County's District 5, and his term was scheduled to end in 2006. District 5 is the largest district in the county and is comprised of the Northeast consortium and the Margruder and Sherwood school clusters. Navarro will complete Lee's term.

After Lee announced his resignation, the BOE put out a press release inviting the community of District 5 to apply for his position. The application consisted of a brief position statement and resume and was due by Nov. 8. Approximately seven people applied, four of whom were selected to be finalists. On Nov. 20, the finalists were each given 20 minutes to answer five questions and 10 minutes to answer follow-up questions. According to Navarro, immediately after the presentations, the BOE members cast their votes, the president of the BOE read the votes aloud, and Navarro was given the position upon obtaining four votes.

Lee was elected by the same procedure on June 17 after another member moved out of the district. Navarro did not apply at that time because she felt Lee was a strong candidate that would address her most pressing issues "head on." However, with time, she said her confidence rose, and she decided she had a serious chance when the spot opened up again.

According to Navarro, her work around Montgomery County has helped her to cultivate great knowledge of the issues facing the Blair community. Navarro said one of the reasons she decided to apply for the BOE was because her involvement in the Longbranch Revitalization Taskforce, established by County Executive Doug Duncan to handle area revitalization, inspired her to do more with the surrounding area and her untapped activism.

Six years ago, Navarro co-founded the nonprofit organization Centro Familia, which has its headquarters across the street from Blair. The organization concentrated its efforts on the issue of early childhood, specifically quality childcare, before the area school system had even addressed the problem. For the past two and a half years, she has also been chair of the Youth in Schools work group.

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