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Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners Names New Chair, Vice Chair, and Student Commissioner

At its meeting this evening, the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners voted in Johnette Richardson as its new chair, replacing Linda Chinnia, who has served as chair since 2019. Ms. Richardson assumes her new leadership role on July 27, 2021.

Richardson is currently the Deputy Director for Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore, a community development financial institution that sparks renewed vitality in neighborhoods by engaging community partners, increasing sustainable homeownership, and advancing innovative capital solutions. She was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in January 2018.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to serve the young people of Baltimore City and their families. I recognize that this role will be enhancing my responsibility on the Board and I’d like to thank each of the Commissioners for their confidence in my leadership,” stated Board Chair Richardson. “I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners, the administration, families and students to Reconnect, Restore, and Reimagine the work accomplished in our system. On the heels of a national pandemic, it is truly “all hands on deck” as we perform the incredible task of supporting the growth, development, and acceleration of our young people. The Board will be continuing our strategic planning work this school year and will be releasing draft metrics that will be attached to our seven strategic priorities. We are looking forward to continued conversation and feedback from the community.”

The Board also elected Ronald S. McFadden to serve as board vice chair. Mr. McFadden is a musician, educator, and advocate for educational equity in America's urban communities. McFadden currently serves as a school based leader in the Baltimore County Public School System (BCPS).

“It is an honor to have the confidence of my colleagues and the community to serve as the School Board’s Vice-Chairperson for the sake of our children. As a teacher & school-based leader, I look forward to supporting the leadership of our Chairperson-elect, Johnette Richardson as we strengthen our commitment to each of Baltimore’s communities,” stated Vice-Chair McFadden. “In an ever-evolving society, it is vital for the leadership of the Board to be grounded in community, organizational efficacy, and sound academic acumen. Together, with the diverse strengths and perspectives of the full Board, I believe that we will be the partners that our parents trust, and students believe in.”

Also, this evening, Anabel Horwitz, who prefers to go by Ezra, attended her first Board of Commissioners meeting as student commissioner. A rising junior, Horwitz attends Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and replaces Kyree Sykes, who served as student commissioner during the 2020-21 school year.

More information about the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners can be found online at https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/board-school-commissioners.