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|Board member, Howard County Board of Education, At-large|
|Years in position||1|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2014|
|First elected||November 4, 2014|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 Campaign themes
- 4 What was at stake?
- 5 About the district
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
O'Connor worked as a sixth-grade teacher at Jersey City Public Schools in New Jersey before moving to Maryland. She currently works as a substitute teacher at district schools. O'Connor also serves as the president of the Howard High School PTSA. She has three children who attend district schools.
The June 24, 2014, primary ballot included incumbents Sandra H. French and Cynthia L. Vaillancourt as well as challengers Bess I. Altwerger, Corey Andrews, Tom Baek, Zaneb K. Beams, Olga Butler, Allen Dyer, Maureen Evans Arthurs, Dan Furman, Leslie Kornreich, Christine O'Connor and Mike Smith. French, Vaillancourt, Altwerger, Beams, Dyer, Furman, O'Connor and Smith faced off in the general election on November 4, 2014.
|Howard County Public Schools, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2014|
|Nonpartisan||Cynthia L. Vaillancourt Incumbent||15.9%||44,142|
|Nonpartisan||Sandra H. French Incumbent||15.4%||42,810|
|Nonpartisan||Bess I. Altwerger||13.6%||37,774|
|Nonpartisan||Zaneb K. Beams||10.6%||29,548|
|Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Official 2014 Gubernatorial General Election Results for Howard County," December 2, 2014|
|Howard County Public Schools, At-Large Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014|
|Nonpartisan||Cynthia L. Vaillancourt Incumbent||13.5%||15,851|
|Nonpartisan||Sandra H. French Incumbent||12.5%||14,688|
|Nonpartisan||Bess I. Altwerger||10.9%||12,733|
|Nonpartisan||Zaneb K. Beams||8.6%||10,042|
|Nonpartisan||Maureen Evans Arthurs||4.9%||5,752|
|Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Official 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election results for Howard County," accessed October 18, 2014|
O'Connor was endorsed by the Howard County Administrators Association.
O'Connor provided the following statement on her campaign website:
|“|| Main Objectives:
—Christine O'Connor's campaign website, (2014), 
What was at stake?
Issues in the election
Ethics claims against Cynthia Vaillancourt
On May 8, 2014, the Board of Education approved a resolution by a 5-2 vote admonishing member Cynthia L. Vaillancourt for violating board confidentiality. The resolution stated that Vaillancourt disclosed information from closed sessions to outside parties and interfered with work done by the county's five-member ethics panel. Vaillancourt accused her fellow board members of inserting themselves into the 2014 election by engaging in "nasty politics" and following "base motives." She also argued that fellow board members left her out of e-mail threads about ongoing ethics investigations, which forced her to directly contact the county panel. Outgoing board member Brian Meshkin, who joined Vaillancourt in voting against the resolution, also criticized the board for damaging the board's integrity with these accusations.
Board president Ellen Flynn Giles stated after the resolution that the board had previously warned Vaillancourt about her communications with outside parties regarding confidential matters. The resolution could be the first step toward future actions against Vaillancourt including official censure and impeachment. Giles and fellow board members Janet Siddiqui, Sandra H. French and Frank Aquino were involved in the attempted removal of board member Allen Dyer in 2011. Dyer remained in office through the end of his term in 2012 due to legal challenges to the board's actions.
Suspension, resumption of Corey Andrews's campaign
Corey Andrews suspended his campaign for a board seat on May 19, 2014, in response to an increasingly negative tone in the election. Andrews cited the board's resolution against Cynthia L. Vaillancourt and claimed that board members have abused their powers to maintain their positions on the board. Andrews sent the following e-mail to supporters on May 19, 2014, to explain his campaign's suspension:
I got into this race to make a difference for the Howard County Public School System. It is important that we protect this local treasure.
The fact is, there are forces preventing those who want to make a difference from doing so. The Howard County Board of Education exposed its corruption a few weeks ago when it abused its power and censured Cindy Vaillancourt in the attempt to smear her name before the upcoming election. Board members have had their personal emails breached by school system staff. Critical documents have been withheld from some Board members. There have even been attempts at physical intimidation by other Board members.
Several Board members, along with a select few candidates, have been coordinating an effort to control the Board and who is on it. Two candidates have resorted to extremely negative campaigning behind closed-doors.
This is not the first time I have run for this position. When I filed to run, I was prepared for a heated campaign. I was not prepared to deal with corruption and abuse of power and am not interested in serving on a Board with people who use such unethical tactics.
Therefore, I am immediately suspending by campaign for the Howard County Board of Education.
Sometimes, it feels like the "bad guys" are winning. The people of Howard County deserve better than this.
—The Baltimore Sun, (2014), 
Andrews reconsidered his withdrawal and resumed his campaign on June 10, 2014. In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Andrews stated that he received supportive e-mails and phone calls after his withdrawal that encouraged resumption of his campaign. Andrews withdrew from the race after the deadline to remove names from the ballot so his name would have appeared on the primary ballot if his campaign remained suspended. He placed 12th in the primary election and did not advance to the general election.
About the district
- See also: Howard County Public Schools, Maryland
Howard County outperformed the rest of Maryland in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 59.5 percent of Howard 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 Howard County was $107,821 compared to $72,999 for the state of Maryland. The poverty rate in Howard County was 4.4 percent compared to 9.4 percent for the entire state.
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. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Christine + O'Connor + Howard + County + Public + Schools"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- The Baltimore Sun, "Howard High PTSA president seeks school board seat," April 30, 2014
- Maryland Campaign Reporting Information System, "View Filed Reports," accessed October 20, 2014
- The Baltimore Sun, "Administrators union endorses three for Howard BOE," October 17, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Christine O'Connor, "Homepage," accessed October 18, 2014
- The Baltimore Sun, "Howard BOE accuses member Vaillancourt of confidentiality breach," May 8, 2014
- The Baltimore Sun, "Administrative law judge upholds Dyer impeachment," December 6, 2012
- The Baltimore Sun, "Andrews suspends campaign for Howard BOE," May 20, 2014
- The Baltimore Sun, "Andrews says he's back in race for Howard BOE," June 11, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Howard County, Maryland," accessed June 3, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed June 3, 2014
- Maryland State Board of Elections, "Voter Registration Activity Report," March 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
|2014 Howard County Public Schools Elections|
|Howard County, Maryland|
|Election date:||November 4, 2014|
|Candidates:||At-large: • Bess I. Altwerger • Corey Andrews • Tom Baek • Zaneb K. Beams • Olga Butler • Allen Dyer • Maureen Evans Arthurs • Sandra H. French • Dan Furman • Leslie Kornreich • Christine O'Connor • Mike Smith • Cynthia L. Vaillancourt|
|Important information:||What was at stake? • Key deadlines • Additional elections on the ballot|