Voters in the Washington suburbs will choose among six candidates for the Montgomery County Board of Education in the Nov. 6 election, with three contested races this year.

A fourth seat is also on the ballot, but candidate Brenda Wolff is running unopposed after a challenger dropped out.

The winners in the nonpartisan contest will become part of an eight-member board that sets policy in Maryland’s largest school district and votes on a nearly $2.6 billion operating budget.

These profiles are based on candidates’ written answers and edited for space and clarity.

AT LARGE

Julie Reiley, 54, is a candidate for the Montgomery County School Board, at-large seat in the 2018 primary. She is a former attorney and professorial instructor in law. (Reiley Campaign)

Julie Reiley, 55, a lawyer and former law school instructor who lives in Bethesda and is making a first run for office.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, law degree from Yale University, master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Children in county schools: 11th-grade son.

Greatest problem facing the school system: The achievement gap affecting students of color, students with special needs and students from low-income families.

One idea to make schools better: Individual student learning plans for academically at-risk students — it’s time to do more than just more of the same.

Past board decision you feel strongly about: Montgomery County Public Schools shouldn’t have waited five years to review a curriculum it wrote in-house.

Strongest qualification: My years as an education advocate have given me a nuanced approach to problem-solving, including work as a leader on special-education issues.

Favorite teacher: Mr. T, for honors biology, for spending his lunches answering my endless questions.

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Karla Silvestre is a candidate for the Montgomery County School Board, at-large seat in the 2018 primary. (Silvestre Campaign)

Karla Silvestre, 46, a first-time candidate who is director of community engagement at Montgomery College, lives in Silver Spring and previously worked as the county government’s Latino liaison.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Children in county schools: Two daughters, a sixth-grader and an 11th-grader.

Greatest problem facing the school system: Meeting the unique needs of students and the opportunity gaps.

One idea to make schools better: Create more personalized learning opportunities and recruit diverse, effective educators.

Past board decision you feel strongly about: The changing of the grading system that is inflating grades.

Strongest qualification: Deeply understanding pathways to post-secondary success and extensive governance experience.

Favorite teacher: My computer teacher/tennis coach made me dream bigger.

DISTRICT 1

Maria Blaeuer is a candidate for the Board of Education Montgomery County Public Schools, District 1. (Jessica Wallach/GreaterDepthMedia.com)

Maria Blaeuer, 42, an education attorney who lives in Laytonsville and is making a first bid for office.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and law degree from Howard University.

Children in county schools: Two children attending county schools and a 2016 graduate of Richard Montgomery High School.

Greatest problem facing the school system: We have inequities in our outcomes, and unequal access to needed resources across the county.

One idea to make schools better: The Board of Education should listen to families and teachers more. I would like to encourage our strongest teachers to work with our most at-risk students.

Past board decision you feel strongly about: I was proud that the Board of Education nearly unanimously supported legislation that shifted the burden of proof in special education disputes back to the school system.

Strongest qualification: My work representing parents and training both schools and families has given me a unique perspective on how school districts and families often miscommunicate and misunderstand each other.

Favorite teacher: Professor Warner Lawson, who was generous with his time and ideas, and cared for all his students as people, not just as future lawyers.

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Judy Docca is the incumbent candidate for the Montgomery County Board of Education, District 1. (Photo by Jen Chapman)

Judy Docca, 79, a retired principal who has served three terms on the board and lives in Montgomery Village.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and master’s degree and PhD from George Washington University.

Children in county schools: Son, now grown, attended county schools.

Greatest problem facing the school system: Providing appropriate coursework for all students and closing the opportunity gap.

One idea to make schools better: Ensure staff members have accurate expectations for each student.

Past board decision you feel strongly about: I regret not being able to give students more than 20 minutes of extra time to sleep on the Bell Times decision, which reset the hours of the school day in 2015 to help sleep-deprived adolescents.

Strongest qualification: My knowledge of teaching and learning, and my sense of history.

Favorite teacher: My ninth-grade English teacher who pushed me to be a better student.

DISTRICT 3

Lynn Amano is a candidate for the Montgomery County School Board, District 3. (Daniel Peck/Daniel Peck Photography, Peck Studios)

Lynn Amano, 52, a small-business owner and first-time candidate who lives in Silver Spring.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from George Washington University.

Children in county schools: A daughter in 10th grade and a son who graduated in 2012 from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

Greatest problem facing the school system: Failure to adequately prepare all students for college and career regardless of race, ability or socioeconomic background.

One idea to make schools better: Engaging programs to draw students from overcrowded schools to empty seats.

Past board decision you feel strongly about: Continually building or expanding schools without accounting for new development.

Strongest qualification: As an education advocate, a track record of effective solutions for Montgomery County Public Schools’ toughest problems, from boundaries to budget.

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Pollard, AP English, was tough but encouraged and improved my writing.

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Patricia O’Neill, who joined the Montgomery County Board of Education in 1998, is seeking election to a sixth term. (Neil Rubino)

Patricia O’Neill , 68, a 20-year school board incumbent who lives in Bethesda and previously worked as a preschool teacher and a retail executive.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University.

Children in county schools: Two daughters who graduated from Walt Whitman High School.

Greatest problem facing the school system: Aging and overcrowded schools.

One idea to make schools better: More prekindergarten.

Past board decision you feel strongly about: I supported the compromise on changing high school bell times. It did not go far enough; high schools still start too early and elementary schools start too late.

Strongest qualification: As a 20-year veteran of the school board, I bring experience and knowledge.

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Farrington, who helped me gain confidence as a shy fifth-grader. My ability for public speaking goes back to her.

DISTRICT 5 (unopposed)

Brenda Wolff, candidate for the Montgomery County Board of Education, is representing District 5. (Christopher Barkley)

Brenda Wolff, 66, a retired civil rights and education lawyer who lives in Silver Spring and is making her first run for office.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Smith College and law degree from Suffolk University.

Children in county schools: Two children, now grown, attended public schools outside of Maryland.

Greatest problem facing the school system: Prioritizing use of limited resources.

One idea to make schools better: Target the distribution of resources and teachers to areas where children are not succeeding.

Past school board decision you feel strongly about: Disagreed with grading-policy changes, which appear to have led to grade inflation.

Strongest qualification for the job: Extensive experience in education policy while working for the federal Department of Education.

Favorite teacher: Ms. Martin, in third grade, who made all of us believe that we were the best.