The incumbent school board members will run unopposed and three others will face seven challengers in the Prince George's School Board primary election May 13.
Incumbent school board members Susan Bieniasz (Fourth District), Bonnie F. Johns (Sixth District) and Jo Ann T. Bell (Seventh District) will run unopposed. Their names will not appear on the May 13 primary ballot.
A general election will be held Nov. 4 for all school districts.
The most heavily contested seat is in the Third District, where incumbent Chester E. Whiting, of Takoma Park, will be opposed by Catherine M. Burch of Silver Spring, William T. Flahive of Adelphi and Malinda Genevia Miles of Mount Rainier.
"I think I see a lot of problems arising (in the school system)," said Burch, mother of three and a newcomer to political office. "I think the priorities of the system are mixed up."
Flahive, 38, explained that the incumbent's failure to reflect his constituents' views compelled him to seek the school board seat.
"I feel he has just not adequately represented the district," he said.
"The biggest reason I decided to run is because I have kids in the school system and I'm concerned about how the system educates school-children," said Miles, a personnel specialist with the National Education Association. She has lived in the county since 1968 and has three children in county schools.
In addition to his school board seat, Whiting serves on the board of directors of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education.
In the First District, school board member Doris A. Eugene, of Beltsville, will be opposed by Paul D. Duncan and John E. Ritchie, both of Laurel.
"I'm particularly concerned with budget cuts that affect students directly," explained Duncan, a former teacher turned businessman. "I'm interested in how tax money is being spent."
Ritchie, 36, says he made his decision based on poor fiscal management and declining test scores in county schools.
"There is an apparent lack of coordination between the county, state and the school system," he said. "I'm advocating strong leadership."
Eugene was appointed by former county executive Winfield Kelly in June 1978 to finish a four-year term on the board.
In the Ninth District, school board chairman Norman H. Saunders, of Camp Springs, will be opposed by Mary M.D. Touchstone of Camp Springs and Joseph L. Baum of Upper Marlboro.
"I want to run because I feel that the quality of the children's education could be greatly improved," said Touchstone, 37, a supervisor with the D.C. Department of Human Services.
She has two children attending county schools.
Baum, 61, says he has devoted 18 of the 28 years he has lived in Prince George's County to PTA and other school activities.
"I'm interested in schools and that's why I'm running," he explained. "I like to work for schools. It will give me something to do."