Carroll County Board of Education Race Begins to Take Shape
In the upcoming election for two open seats on the Carroll County Board of Education, four candidates have officially declared their candidacy, shaping the race for the future of education in the county.
Greg Malveaux was the first candidate to officially announce his bid on August 29, followed by Kristen Zihmer, who announced on September 5. Joining the race later, Amanda Jozkowski and Muri Dueppen revealed their joint candidacy as the “Slate for Student Success” on November 6.
Current school board President Marsha Herbert and member Donna Sivigny are ineligible for reelection in 2024 due to the completion of their maximum two terms. The primary election, scheduled for May 14, will determine the top four candidates who will advance to the general election on November 5, 2024.
Malveaux, a resident of Hampstead, boasts a Ph.D. in higher education and administration from Morgan State University. He serves as an English professor and coordinator of study abroad at Montgomery College, in addition to co-chairing the Maryland Community College International Education Consortium. As a parent of a student in Carroll County Public Schools, Malveaux’s priorities include addressing college readiness, improving school bullying policies, strengthening agricultural and trade education, and opposing state overreach in local education.
Zihmer, a life-long resident of Westminster, is the owner of Windchimes LLC, a senior living consulting agency. She is an active member of the community, serving as the president of Cranberry Station Elementary’s Parent-Teacher Association and as a member of the CCPS Curriculum Council. Zihmer’s key focuses are strengthening parent-teacher partnerships, academic excellence and school safety.
Both Malveaux and Zihmer have garnered support from Carroll County Moms for Liberty, a non-partisan parent rights organization, for their dedication to parental rights in education. Kit Hart, the chapter chair of Carroll County Moms for Liberty, praised their commitment to prioritizing academic achievement and student safety while involving parents in the education process.
Muri Dueppen, a self-proclaimed education advocate and Corporate Relations Officer at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, previously ran for the Board of Education in 2018, finishing 7th in the primary out of 11 candidates.
Her running mate, Amanda Jozkowski, participated in the 2022 election, securing the 3rd position in the primary out of 8 candidates but ultimately faced defeat in the general election, finishing 5th out of 6 candidates. Jozkowski, a tenured professor at Towson University with a Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy, advocates for children’s transgender rights. During her previous Board of Education campaign, Jozkowski became embroiled in controversies due to her comments suggesting a student’s gender identity should be kept confidential from their parents, and support for drag queen story hour.
While the Board of Education race is officially nonpartisan, political affiliations have come into play, with all four candidates forming alliances with political parties. Malveaux and Zihmer have received early financial support from Republican elected officials in Carroll County and have been active participants in local Republican events.
On the Democratic side, Dueppen serves on the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee, and both Dueppen and Jozkowski were described by the Democratic Committee chair at a recent club meeting as “two great Democratic candidates”, highlighting the partisan undertones of the race.
The deadline for filing school board candidacy is February 9. Interested candidates must be county residents and registered voters, pay a $25 fee, and disclose certain financial information. Early voting for the primary is set for May 2-9, with options for mail-in ballots available through various channels. For more information, voters can visit Maryland State Board of Elections.