Harford County Board Of Education To Welcome Four New Members At July 17 Meeting


The strong showing by HCPS suggests that the school system is not just an educational leader but also an outstanding employer. (Credit: Harford County Public Schools)

HARFORD COUNTY - The Board of Education of Harford County will welcome three newly appointed members and one new student member at its July 17 meeting.

The new members, appointed by County Executive Bob Cassilly, and the new student member of the board (SMOB) will take over from outgoing members Dr. Joyce Herold, Dr. Roy Phillips, and Ms. Patrice Ricciardi, along with the 2022-2023 Student Member of the Board, Miss Noa Blanken.

New members of the 2023-2024 Harford County Board of Education:

Mrs. Terri Kocher has lived in Harford County for over 36 years, and two of her grandchildren are current Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) students. Mrs. Kocher retired from the U.S. Army after a 30+ year civilian career at the Pentagon and Aberdeen Proving Ground. Additionally, she was a multi-term member of a local church nursery school and Day Care Center Board. Mrs. Kocher holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Salisbury State College and a master's in systems management from Florida Institute of Technology. Her husband retired after 30 years of working as a teacher in Baltimore County.

"I am honored to be appointed to the Board of Education," Mrs. Kocher said. She added that she hopes to use her experience as a Board member and analyst to provide positive support to the families and teachers of Harford County.

Dr. Aaron Poynton is the CEO and founder of Omnipoynt Solutions, a strategy and business development consulting firm in the aerospace and defense, national security, and health and safety markets. He is also co-founder and chief commercial officer of A3 Global, a next-generation company focused on the future of mobility in the circular economy. Before transitioning into business, Dr. Poynton served in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Captain. He was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, serving as the Company Commander of an Advanced Individual Training Unit. Dr. Poynton holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; a master's degree in project management from George Washington University; an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business; and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Baltimore.

"It's an honor to be a member of the Board of Education," says Dr. Poynton. "There is much work to do, and I intend to bring a strong focus on academic excellence to the school system during my tenure."

Ms. Lauren Paige Strauss is a certified project management professional who has lived in Harford County for 12 years and resides in Havre de Grace. Ms. Strauss is the Director of Program Management for a small business in the Department of Defense industry and is the mother of a recent graduate and a current student of Havre de Grace High School.

"I am deeply honored, humbled, and excited to be serving on the Board of Education for Harford County Public Schools," Strauss said. "I am deeply committed to ensuring that HCPS remains transparent and accountable for educational performance and that collectively, we create a learning environment that fosters growth and high academic achievement."

Miss Madina A. Sabirova (SMOB) is a senior at Harford Technical High School and will serve as the 2023-2024 Student Member of the Board. She is enrolled in Harford Technical High School's culinary arts program and is involved in multiple school clubs. Miss Sabirova is Vice President of her school's Muslim Student Association and is a member of the Debate Team, National Honor Society, Rho Kappa, and Voices of Equity Club. She is also a member of Harford Tech's varsity tennis team.

The new members will officially be seated at the next Board of Education meeting on July 17, 2023, at 6:30 p.m.

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