Wow, what a lot of people want to serve on the Montgomery County school board. A total of 46 applied for appointment to fill the unexpired term of veteran board member Elizabeth Spencer, who resigned last week to seek the Republican nomination for Congress.

The remaining members of the school board must make the appointment, which is scheduled for Tuesday. From the 46 applicants, the board narrowed the list to 11 finalists during a special session late Thursday.

Whoever is appointed will serve only until Dec. 1, when the seat will be taken by someone elected in the Nov. 2 general election.

Three of the finalists are candidates in the general election. They are Marilyn Praisner, an analyst for the CIA; Elizabeth Witzgall, a Montgomery College business law professor, and Herbert Grossman, a federal administrative law judge.

Another finalist, Allison Bryant, a management consultant, is running as a Republican candidate for county register of wills.

Other finalists are William Colman, a former school board president and interim County Council member; J. William Mullinax, former school maintenance director; Stephen L. Grossman, a federal administrative law judge; Austin Heyman, a federal administrator; John B. Clark, a government research analyst; Richard L. Claypoole, a federal administrator, and Kenneth R. Greenberg, an associate professor of education at the University of Maryland.

The congressional seat Spencer is seeking is now held by Democrat Michael D. Barnes.