Mary M. Washington *

Age: 51

Residence: Lexington Park.

Education: BS, social and behavioral sciences, University of Maryland; certificate, Maryland Association of Boards of Education, Leadership Academy I; current student, Maryland Association of Boards of Education, Leadership Academy II.

Occupation: Board member, St. Mary's County Board of Education.

Elected offices/civic activities: Member, St. Mary's County Board of Education, 1996-present; board member, Maryland Association of Boards of Education.

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

"Student achievement. Our mission is to enable students to develop their intellectual and personal potential for a lifetime of learning and for responsible, productive participation in our diverse and changing world. Student achievement is not only paramount due to the demands of No Child Left Behind, state mandated high school assessments (HSA), new SAT requirements and rigorous college admission requirements, but most importantly we have a moral, social and economic obligation to ensure all students are successful. We must preserve and protect our democratic life and keep America strong. A strong public education is the foundation of democracy."

Why should voters elect you?

"I am/have: full-time, eight-year BOE member; approachable, accessible and responsive; a listener to all sides of issues; knowledge, commitment and love; keep students in forefront."

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