Editor’s Note: The Carroll County Times is profiling candidates for the Carroll County School Board ahead of the July 19 primary election. In the nonpartisan race, voters can choose three candidates on their primary ballots. The first six voters will qualify for the general election. Seven candidates are vying for three open seats: Tara Battaglia, Pat Dorsey, Amanda Jozkowski, James Miller, Pat Sands, Tom Scanlan and Steve Whisler. Katie Speert is also on the ballot but withdrew from the race in June.
Tara Battaglia, 43, of Westminster, is running for re-election to the Carroll County School Board, hoping for a second term.
Battaglia said his vision for Carroll County Public Schools is to “get back to basics” in education, including a focus on reading, writing and math.
“The foundations lay the groundwork for all other subjects like STEM, history and civics,” she said. “We need to integrate (agricultural) education more into the school curriculum. …we also need to help students with their career path plans and make sure students achieve their goals.
Battaglia is a 1996 graduate of Westminster High School and a mother of three who attend Carroll County Public Schools. Battaglia also attended Carroll Community College and is now majoring in psychology at the University of Maryland’s Global Campus.
Battaglia was first elected to the Board of Education in 2018. In this election, she is running as part of a list with candidates James Miller and Steve Whisler. A slate is an official legal designation; its members raise and spend money as a group with a common mission.
“I am standing for election because there is still work to be done. COVID has put important work on hold, and I want to make sure the work is done,” Battaglia said.
If re-elected, Battaglia said she would focus on redistricting in the southern area of the county.
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“I experienced a redistricting being affected by the closure of Charles Carroll Elementary, New Windsor Middle and North Carroll High,” she said. “I want to make sure the redistricting makes sense and the concerns of families and communities are taken into account.”
As a longtime Carroll County resident and mother, Battaglia said she understands the community and its differences.
“What works for the south end of the county may not work for the north end of the county. … A current parental perspective is what should be taken into account when making educational decisions and having an understanding of what our children are going through,” she said.
Battaglia said she will also continue to advocate for parental involvement and “consistency” in the CCPS program.
“I want to make sure parent involvement continues to be a key part of any new program. … [Presently] there are things students learn in one school but not in another. All students should have the same experiences,” she said.
Battaglia said she hopes to maintain local control of the school system, prepare students for the real world, and establish “respectful person-to-person problem solving.”
“It takes a village to educate our children and prepare them for the future,” Battaglia said.