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Amber Waller

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Amber Waller
Amber Waller.jpg
Board member, Prince George's County Board of Education, District 3
In office
September 2007 - November 2014
Term ends
November 2014
Years in position 8
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014}
AppointedSeptember 2007
Term limitsN/A
Office website
Amber Waller was the District 3 representative on the Prince George's County Board of Education in Maryland. She was first appointed to the board in September 2007. Waller advanced from a primary election on June 24, 2014, to face challenger Dinora A. Hernandez in the general election on November 4, 2014. Waller lost the general election.


Waller was a founding member of a community group called Washington Gas Watch Alliance. She also served as the executive director of Maryland Black Mayors, Inc. Waller has two adult children.[1]



See also: Prince George's County Public Schools elections (2014)


Peggy Higgins sought re-election against Lupi Grady in the general election on November 4, 2014. Races for District 3, 6 and 9 were on the primary ballot on June 24, 2014. Incumbent Amber Waller faced Dinora A. Hernandez and Clarence Emmanuel for the District 3 seat. Waller and Hernandez advanced to the general election. District 6 incumbent Carolyn M. Boston faced Pat Fletcher and Darin Kenley in the primary. Boston and Fletcher advanced to the general election. District 9 incumbent Sonya Williams faced Domonique A. Flowers, Johnnie R. Isaac and Denise M. Joseph in the primary. Williams and Flowers advanced to the general election.


Prince George's County Public Schools, District 3 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDinora A. Hernandez 50.2% 5,700
     Nonpartisan Amber Waller Incumbent 49.4% 5,607
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.3% 39
Total Votes 11,346
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Official 2014 Gubernatorial General Election Results for Prince George's County," December 2, 2014
Prince George's County Public Schools, District 3 Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAmber Waller Incumbent 53.4% 2,926
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDinora A. Hernandez 29.3% 1,605
     Nonpartisan Clarence Emmanuel 17.3% 948
Total Votes 5,479
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Official 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election results for Prince George's County," July 16, 2014


Waller had not reported any contributions or expenditures to the Maryland State Board of Elections as of June 6, 2014.[2]


Flowers was endorsed by The Gazette.[3]


Prince George's County Public Schools, District 3 General Election, 4-year term, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAmber Waller Incumbent 62.4% 6,611
     Nonpartisan Charles C. Coleman 37.2% 3,940
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.3% 37
Total Votes 10,588
Source: Prince George's County, "Election Summary Report," November 24, 2010

Campaign themes


Waller provided the following answers to questions from the League of Women Voters:

What are your qualifications and how does your background prepare you for this office?

Experience, accessibility, training and leadership from positions as PTA President, employment in Corporate, House of Representatives, George Washington and Trinity University, as well as being a parent with two children, have afforded me an opportunity to engage the community, get results with an emphasis on accountability and know the importance of personal involvement to get things done.[4]

—Voter 411 Voting Guide, (2014)[5]

What do you consider the county’s two most pressing education issues and how would you address them?

Competitive staff and teacher compensation. Ensure resources are directed back into the classroom to support teachers as they educate our students. Further implementation of choice programs along with their accessibility to all students must continue.[4]

—Voter 411 Voting Guide, (2014)[5]

Specify the policies you would advance to promote optimum working relations between the Board of Education (BOE) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in order to provide opportunity for every county public school student to graduate – college or/and workforce ready?

The Board in collaboration with the CEO on such issues as funding, programs, resources for instruction, compensation, parent and community engagement, as well as public safety, for example, is afforded a great opportunity to be engaged in good governance and accountability that would result in all students to graduate college or/and workforce ready.[4]

—Voter 411 Voting Guide, (2014)[5]

What three capital improvement projects for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) would you recommend as top priorities for the next budget?

Funding for and review of upgrading of all athletic facilities. It is imperative that our students have safe and state of the art facilities to practice and engage in sports and other activities. There are a number of PODS (temporary classrooms) located on school property, and it is necessary to decrease the number of these facilities and find other means by which to expand school classrooms.[4]

—Voter 411 Voting Guide, (2014)[5]

What policies would you advance for involvement of parents and communities in the school success of every student?

It is imperative that all schools and facilities have a welcoming environment for parents. We need to communicate to the community and parents that regardless of the family’s economic, ethnic, or cultural background, parents’ active involvement in a child’s education is a major factor in determining success in school.[4]

—Voter 411 Voting Guide, (2014)[5]

How would you improve communication between the Board of Education, school administration, parents and the community especially with changing demographics in Prince George’s County?

Messaging of activities and resources must be communicated through various mediums -- e.g., TV, radio, messaging boards. Translators should be available to provide resources and assistance. Community leaders and others that have had students graduate from the system should mentor parents and provide input on their experiences. Regional meetings with varying times and days should be afforded.[4]

—Voter 411 Voting Guide, (2014)[5]

Why do you believe families in Prince George’s County are sending their children to private schools? What can be done to encourage families to send their children to Prince George’s County Public Schools?

Families are entitled to choices...public, private, charter or specialty schools, for example. The CEO and the Board have a responsibility to ensure that there are choice programs as well as schools that are located equitably throughout the County. Communication about the many choices, as well as resources, needs to be conveyed through the media and social outlets.[4]

—Voter 411 Voting Guide, (2014)[5]

What was at stake?

Issues in the district

End of temporary visa sponsorship

The district announced that it will no longer sponsor temporary work visas in a letter to more than 150 foreign teachers distributed in April 2014. District schools have used the federal work visa program to recruit teachers in specialized subjects over the past 10 years. The decision by district officials follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor into misuses of the visa program in 2011. Prince George's County Public Schools was fined $1.7 million and repaid $4.2 million in back wages after federal investigators determined that the district passed along visa fees to participating teachers. Federal law requires employers to pay worker visa fees. This investigation also prevented the district from recruiting new visa recipients in 2012. The district received federal approval to resume use of the worker visa program in March 2014 but clarified its new position in the April letter.[6]

About the district

See also: Prince George's County Public Schools, Maryland
Prince George's County Public Schools is located in Prince George's County, Maryland
Prince George's County Public Schools is based in Upper Marlboro, the county seat of Prince George's County, Maryland. According to the United States Census Bureau, Prince George's County is home to 890,081 residents.[7] Prince George's County Public Schools was the second-largest school district in Maryland, serving 123,833 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[8]


Prince George's County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Maryland in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 29.5 percent of Prince George's County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3 percent for Maryland as a whole. The median household income in Prince George's County was $73,568 compared to $72,999 for the state of Maryland. The poverty rate in Prince George's County was 8.7 percent compared to 9.4 percent for the entire state.[7]

Racial Demographics, 2012[7]
Race Prince George's County (%) Maryland (%)
White 26.5 60.8
Black or African American 65.3 30.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.0 0.5
Asian 4.4 6.0
Two or More Races 2.6 2.5
Hispanic or Latino 15.7 8.7

Party registration, 2014[9]
Party Number of registered voters
Democratic 441,584
Unaffiliated 59,107
Republicans 43,671
Other 16,411
Libertarian 1,061
Green 772
Total 562,655

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[10] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

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