Sue Bieniasz of New Carrollton was elected chairman of the Prince George's County Board of Education last night and called for the board to take the offensive in getting funding for the financially troubled schools.
"This is the year we need to go beyond creative efforts to work within the problem -- it has to be solved," said Bieniasz in a prepared statement. "If we don't reach out together and work to be a part of the solution, we all know what the results will be: increased RIFs, increased class size, dilution of the quality of education, cuts in reading, foreign languages, art, physical education, counseling, special education, extra curricular activities and others."
Bieniasz, who has been a board member for six years, was elected unanimously by her colleagues. First-term board member Catherine Burch was unanimously elected vice chairman. Newly elected board member Paul Shelby, a Bowie lawyer, and reelected incumbents Angelo Castelli and Leslie Kreimer were sworn in. Member Norman Saunders was absent.
Bieniasz, 49, a private counselor in leadership and assertiveness training, had no serious competition for the chairman's job, an object of intense political infighting in years past. Outgoing chairman Doris Eugene said that under the pressure of school board concerns earlier this year she "never really thought much" about seeking the chairmanship a second year.