Two Seats Open On County Education Board

BERLIN – The Worcester County Board of Education will see two new faces following next week’s election.

Voters will choose from Rodney Bailey and Donald Smack Sr. in District 2 and from Jon Andes and Angie Phukan Chatelle in District 3.  Neither of the incumbents, Sara Thompson in District 3 and Barry Brittingham in District 2, are seeking reelection.

In District 5, incumbent Elena McComas is running unopposed.

Smack, who retired as head custodian after 30 years of working at Ocean City Elementary School, said he wants to represent the community on the school board to share any concerns or ideas.

“I decided to run for a love of the children,” he said. “I think people should vote for me because I have 30 years of experience with the school district and I was a member of the union, fighting for the rights of teachers and support staff.”

Bailey declined to comment.

In District 3, which has been represented by Thompson for more than 20 years, Andes is hoping to use his more than three decades of experience in education to take over her role. Andes served as superintendent of Worcester County’s public schools for 16 years before retiring in 2012. He’s spent the past eight years teaching at Salisbury University.

“I believe my experience in working in public education can provide support and help as we address the challenges of distance learning, virtual learning and a return to regular school programming,” he said.

Andes knows the importance of rural school systems and wants to help make sure each student had an opportunity to “excel and thrive.”

“This community has been so good to me I wanted to give back to the community by helping our school system become even better,” he said.

Chatelle, according to her website, has taught classes at Delaware’s Lifelong Learning Center and currently teaches at Wor-Wic Community College.  On her website Chatelle addresses the issues of testing, school safety, college alternatives and overall priorities.

“I love auditing and making improvements,” she wrote. “I will review financial and non-financial aspects of our education system to remove redundancy and waste, and find areas that need more resources and attention. I also will advocate for better internet and transportation needs for off campus experiences, even if that means telling Annapolis we need more money for public works projects.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.