Birthplace and date: Washington, D.C.; Aug. 20, 1950.

Marital Status: Married to lawyer James R. "Rick" O'Neill. We are both graduates of Walter Johnson High School. We met graduation day June 18, 1968. We have been married since 1972.

Children: Melissa, age 14; Jennifer, age 24.

Schools children attend: Melissa is entering 10th grade at Walt Whitman High School. Jennifer attended Burning Tree Elementary and Thomas Pyle Middle School; graduated from Walt Whitman in 1999 and Vanderbilt University in 2003; and now attends Vanderbilt University Law School.

College: BA, Southern Methodist University.

Celebrity I most resemble: People often ask isn't there an actress named Patricia O'Neill? They must be remembering the actress Patricia Neal.

My most notable characteristic or character trait: I have a great memory. People are often shocked at my ability to remember conversations and obscure details. Some say I am like an elephant in this respect.

I'd love to trade places for a day with: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Nobody knows I: was a cosmetic buyer for Woodward & Lothrop department stores. I spent 10 years as a retail executive.

Favorite Quote: When Madeleine Albright was Secretary of State, her friends asked if she was gaining weight? She replied, "No, I'm just growing thicker skin." I believe this quote applies to most elected officials.

Best movie I've ever seen: "Titanic."

Best Book I've ever read: "Angela's Ashes: A Memoir" by Frank McCourt.

Favorite subject in high school: History. I believe if you understand the past, it helps you prepare for the future. As a senior at Walter Johnson High School, I took European History taught by an outstanding teacher, Jim Walsh. My senior paper was on [doomed 12th-century lovers Peter] Abelard and Heloise. I love the details involved with the study of history. Understanding who, what, why, and where. I still love history, and I enjoy reading biographies.

My study habits as a student: My study habits weren't very good. I was a last-minute student. I would write the paper the night before it was due. Read the book the day before the test. I always did best in subjects I liked.

All-time favorite TV show: "Seinfeld."

Restaurant in my district where parents would most likely run into me: California Pizza Kitchen at Westfield Montgomery.

Car I drive: Ford Taurus station wagon. I am a soccer and field hockey mom.

Best car I've ever had: 1975 Chevy Camaro.

Person in history I would like to meet: Susan B. Anthony, U.S. leader in the movement for women's suffrage.

Most important influence in my life: My mother. My mom graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles at a time when not many women went to college. She worked as a social worker. She was elected president of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Branch of American Association of University Women in 1954, the youngest branch president at that time. She used to take me along to meetings.

Favorite place to vacation: Hawaii. I have been there twice, to celebrate my 15th and 25th wedding anniversaries.

Most interesting place you have visited: Beijing, China.

Pet Peeve: People who like to complain but have no solutions to their complaints.

Impression people have of me that I would most like to change:

I believe that most people believe that I am just a PTA/soccer mom serving on the school board. I believe my business experience, my education and my six years as a nursery school teacher prepared me for this role.

Impression of MCPS that I would most like to change:

I think many people believe that too much money goes to our schools. Believe me, in public education there is never enough money to meet all our needs. I also believe that many in the state of Maryland believe there are no challenges in Montgomery County. When I speak at statewide meetings people are shocked to discover the impact of poverty and limited English skills in Montgomery County.

School board President Patricia O'Neill at home with her daughter Melissa, 14.