Ijamsville’s Cusimano Contends for BOE

With her three children and the entire student body in Ijamsville, Urbana, Kemptown and Green Valley on her mind, Colleen Cusimano has announced her candidacy for the Frederick County BOE.

As the mother of three children in Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), Ijamsville resident Colleen Cusimano has spent endless hours lobbying the Board of Education (BOE) for causes representing the best interests of her children.

Despite all of her efforts and hard work, she feels that she has come up short on their behalf.

“I find the current Board to be turning a deaf ear to our community,” she said.

For two years, Cusimano worked in FCPS’ Central Office. Now she is attempting a return to FCPS with her candidacy for the Frederick County BOE.

“It was clear to me that there’ are many management decisions that are taking our school system

in the wrong direction,” she stated.

Citing wasteful spending, disorganized priorities, and inaccurate communications to community members about school policies as her motives for seeking a seat, Cusimano went on to say that she wants an opportunity to guide the leadership of the school system, focusing on what is best for the children, schools, and the community.

“I hope to help provide that guidance that is so desperately needed now,” she said.

Area schools, once regarded as the county’s best, have had their share of problems, especially when it comes to overcrowding. Centerville Elementary School (CES) is 15 percent over-capacity, and its latest addition has been postponed. “Overcrowding has been and continues to be a big issue for our region of the county,” she said.

School transportation, mainly the lack of it, has been ridiculed, not only by concerned parents, but by high-ranking county and community leaders as well.

Taxes, along with other impact fees, have skyrocketed.

“Generally, making sure we are fairly represented is important for our region. There seems to be a philosophy of, ‘We gave you a new school, now go away,’” Cusimano said.

If elected, Cusimano expects to tackle many challenging issues that are set to surface — none as dire as the continued impact of the feeble economy on school resources, she said.

“We do not have the luxury to squander the resources we have in hand,” she said.

She will work to hold all school officials accountable in reporting accurate financial data in order for the best decisions to be made. “What they’re spending and what they’re saying is not aligning at all.”

Cusimano expressed trepidation with the ever-changing diversity of school communities — children with a variety of different academic and socio-economic levels and cultures. “Creating and fostering school environments where every child is valued and successful is a struggle. The Board and FCPS management should support this as their top priority.”

Much needs to be remedied when it comes to finding and keeping the system’s most-qualified staff members intact, a task Cusimano is ready to tackle.

“I believe the Board of Education can do better. I hope to be part of the correction that is needed.”

To learn more about Cusimano and her campaign for the BOE, please visit colleenc4boe.com.

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