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Montgomery school board elects new president

Montgomery County’s school board named a new president Thursday, giving the leadership role to Phil Kauffman, previously vice president.

Kauffman, a resident of Olney, is a second-term board member who retired this year as deputy assistant general counsel with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was elected Thursday to a one-year term in a 7 to 1 vote.

For more than a decade, Kauffman, the father of two grown daughters, volunteered as a local and county PTA leader. Among other positions, he served on the board of the Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations.

Leaving the board’s top job was Christopher S. Barclay, a second-term board member who was praised and thanked Thursday by each of his colleagues. Barclay, who works in telecommuncations, is a resident of Takoma Park and a father of three.

The board also named a new vice president Thursday, giving the No. 2 post to Patricia O’Neill, the board’s longest-serving member. She was elected in a 6 to 2 vote.

A Bethesda resident and mother of two grown children, O’Neill is a longtime PTA leader who joined the board in 1998 and has served as president and vice president four times over the years. She recently announced she would run for reelection.

Donna St. George writes about education, with an emphasis on Montgomery County schools.

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