Cathy Allen *

Age: 48

Residence: Hollywood.

Education: BS, nursing, University of Virginia.

Occupation: Chairman, St. Mary's County Board of Education; former critical care nurse.

Elected offices/civic activities: Member, St. Mary's County Board of Education, 2000-2001; vice chairman, St. Mary's County Board of Education, 2001-2003; chairman, St. Mary's County Board of Education, 2003-present; member, SMCPS Growth Management Advisory Committee; past president, Leonardtown Elementary Parent-Teacher Association; sustaining member, Carver School Site Selection Committee; member, Junior League Norfolk-Virginia Beach.

What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?

"Our most urgent issue is funding. Our compensation must be competitive with surrounding counties to attract and retain high-quality teachers. We need to continue our plan to implement full-day kindergarten. Our course offerings must expand to reflect the changing world and needs around us. This system is all about people: students and staff who need the resources to succeed. We must put forth a budget that addresses our needs while being mindful of the community's ability to fund the school system along with its many other responsibilities."

Why should voters elect you?

"I have proven experience and the ability to continue guiding this system through challenges: funding, closing the achievement gap, retaining quality teachers, maintaining class size."

Web site:

None given.

E-mail address:

brad-cath@verizon.net

Clare Whitbeck

Age: 64

Residence: Breton Bay.

Education: BS, speech correction, George Washington University; completed course work in accounting at Howard Community College; BA and MA, music, American University.

Occupation: Retired bookkeeper/office manager.

Elected offices/civic activities: Chairman, Citizens Review Board for Children; chairman, St. Mary's Solid Waste Advisory Committee; president, St. Mary's Senior Coalition; board member, Voices for Quality Care (LTC) Inc.; past president, Breton Bay Civic Association; treasurer, St. Mary's Democratic Club; former board member, St. Mary's League of Women Voters; treasurer, St. Mary's County NAACP; former poll judge, St. Mary's County; board member, Potomac River Association; member, American Association of University Women.

What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?

"The most urgent problem for schools is finding a reliable source of funding while forcing every dollar to produce maximum return. The state of Maryland is facing another year of budget crisis. The FY '05 school budget is based on receiving $62.5 million from the state of Maryland and almost that much from St. Mary's. Loss of Thornton funding from the state could compromise the quality of education in St. Mary's County, as could inadequate county funding. No matter what the level of funding, every dollar in the budget must be used to produce better educated children."

Why should voters elect you?

"As a member of the Board of Education, I will continue my activities as a strong advocate of more open government and require good stewardship."

Web site:

www.clarewhitbeck.com

E-mail address:

clare@clarewhitbeck.com