Robert "Bob" Frisch

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Robert "Bob" Frisch
Robert Frisch.jpg
Board member, Harford County Board of Education, District A
Term ends
June 2019
Years in position 5
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2010
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sTowson University
Master'sCollege of Notre Dame of Maryland
ProfessionRetired teacher
Office website
Campaign website
Robert "Bob" Frisch campaign logo
Robert "Bob" Frisch represents District A on the Harford County Board of Education in Maryland. He was first elected to the board in 2010.[1] Frisch advanced from a primary election on June 24, 2014, to face Laura Runyeon in the general election on November 4, 2014. He currently represents District A but ran for District B because redistricting changed district lines for his home address.[2] Robert "Bob" Frisch won the general election on November 4, 2014.


Frisch earned a B.S. in social science from Towson University. He later received a master's degree in education from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Frisch worked for the Baltimore City Police Department from 1976 until his retirement in 1996. He worked as a social studies and special education teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools from 2003 to 2012. Frisch and his wife, Carla, have two children who graduated from district schools.[1][3]



See also: Harford County Public Schools elections (2014)


The June 24, 2014, primary ballot included primaries for Districts B, C, D, E and F with the top two vote recipients in each primary advancing to the general election on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Robert "Bob" Frisch and challenger Laura Runyeon defeated Greg Johnson in District B. District C incumbent Alysson L. Krchnavy and challenger Joseph L. Voskuhl advanced to the general election by defeating John Anker. Nancy Reynolds faced challenger Mike Simon in her bid for another term in District D after defeating challengers Chris Scholz and Tishan D. Weerasooriya in the primary. The primary race for District E resulted in board member Arthur Kaff and newcomer Rachel Gauthier defeating Stephen Eric Macko and Barney Michel. Macko dropped out of the race after the withdrawal deadline which meant his name still appeared on the ballot. District F incumbent Thomas Fitzpatrick and Michael R. Hitchings squared off in the general election after defeating Joe Fleckenstein in the primary.

The District A race advanced to the general election without a primary as newcomers Frederick A. Mullis and Jansen M. Robinson were the only candidates to file for the seat.

In the general election Jansen M. Robinson won District A, incumbent Robert "Bob" Frisch was returned to District B, challenger Joseph L. Voskuhl defeated incumbent Alysson L. Krchnavy for District C, incumbent Nancy Reynolds won District D, newcomer Rachel Gauthier defeated incumbent Arthur Kaff for District E and incumbent Thomas Fitzpatrick won another term in District F.

This was the first time that county voters selected members for these seats on the Harford County Board of Education. Board members were appointed by the governor prior to a 2009 state law that turned six of the nine board seats into elected positions. There were board elections for two-year terms in Districts A, B and D in November 2010. Victorious candidates in the general election will take office in July 2015 along with three newly appointed members.[4]


Harford County Public Schools, District B General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRobert "Bob" Frisch Incumbent 54.9% 8,160
     Nonpartisan Laura Runyeon 44.3% 6,587
     Nonpartisan Write-in 0.8% 117
Total Votes 14,864
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Official 2014 Gubernatorial General Election results for Harford County," accessed December 20, 2014
Harford County Public Schools, District B Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRobert "Bob" Frisch Incumbent 49.5% 2,643
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLaura Runyeon 35.1% 1,874
     Nonpartisan Greg Johnson 15.4% 823
Total Votes 5,340
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Official 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election results for Harford County," July 17, 2014


Frisch has reported no contributions or expenditures to the Maryland State Board of Elections as of June 10, 2014.[5]


Frisch received an endorsement from The Baltimore Sun prior to the primary election.[6] He was also endorsed by the Harford County Education Association (HCEA).[7]


Harford County Public Schools, District A General Election, 4-year term, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRobert "Bob" Frisch 66.8% 6,691
     Nonpartisan Jansen M. Robinson 32.8% 3,288
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.4% 38
Total Votes 10,017
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Official 2010 Gubernatorial General Election results for Harford County," accessed June 3, 2014

Campaign themes


Frisch explained his themes for the 2014 race in an interview with The Baltimore Sun:

Q: How will you address the budget issues that each year leave Harford County Public Schools millions of dollars short of what school system officials say they need to operate?

As a member of the Board it is my responsibility to represent the interests of students, parents, staff and those that support our schools with their tax dollars. I believe that the school system should receive sufficient financial resources to meet the needs of students and staff. At the same time the Board has a fiduciary responsibility to insure that those taxpayer provided resources are spent wisely, efficiently, and with valid justification. Since winning election to the Board I have worked diligently with the Superintendent and senior staff to find internal efficiencies in our operations in order to minimize the impact of funding shortfalls on the classroom. During past budget discussions I have successfully amended the budget to reduce costs and shift financial resources to areas that most directly support instruction in our classrooms. My efforts to more fully engage the general public in our budget processes are now nearing fruition with the establishment of a Budget Citizens Advisory Committee. I will continue to maximize my personal and professional relationships with state and local elected officials, the business community, and relevant stakeholder groups to win support for the resources our school system needs to provide a quality education for all of our students.

Q: In the wake of years of tragedies committed in schools across the country, please explain your position on school safety and security and what, if anything, should be done in Harford County Public Schools.

Having spent a career as a law enforcement professional and many years as a classroom teacher I fully understand the need for schools to provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff. Neither can fully focus on teaching and learning if they feel insecure or not adequately protected. During my time on the school board I have worked with other elected officials to secure state and local funding to increase security measures in our schools and successfully lobbied my colleagues on the school board to reallocate funds to accelerate the installation of these measures. I will continue to work with our Citizens Advisory Committee on Safety and Security and local law enforcement agencies to maintain our cooperative relationships toward the common goal of safe and secure schools.

Q: What is your position on two controversial cost savings measures – ending bus transportation waivers for students who live close to school and having tiered schedules in elementary schools to save on the number of buses needed.

In this time of tight funding school systems must find ways to maximize resources through continuous analysis. Transportation costs represent a significant budget expenditure. As a member of the Board's Operations and Facilities Committee we tasked school system leaders to evaluate our transportation model for efficiencies while also maintaining student safety. At the same time an outside transportation firm was hired to do a broader analysis of our model. Staff recommendations included reducing walker waivers where previous safety concerns had been mitigated. Staff also recommended expanding the use of already existing tiered bus schedules. These decisions were supported by the school board and later validated by the outside transportation specialist with an added recommendation to upgrade our model through the purchase of software which will provide for greater efficiencies and long term cost savings. The Board has authorized staff to move forward with purchasing this software.

Q: How will you address student achievement in all ages in the various testing programs?

All children deserve an equal opportunity to be successful in school. Our schools continue to analyze student data to assess individual strengths and areas of need. We offer supports for students of all academic talents. HCPS also provides professional development opportunities for staff i to improve instruction to raise academic performance.

Q: How has HCPSS performed in implementing the Common Core state standards? Should anything be done differently as the school system continues its implementation?

To date HCPS continues to develop curriculum to meet the standards outlined under Common Core and provide staff with necessary professional development to support this initiative. Our system, like many others across the state, is struggling to meet the technology requirements of PARCC testing. Significant fiscal investments have been made to provide equal access to technology infrastructure and hardware for all schools. HCPS will continue to work with the state regarding Common Core implementation and our funding authorities to acquire necessary fiscal support.


The Baltimore Sun, (2014) [9]

About the district

See also: Harford County Public Schools, Maryland
Harford County Public Schools is located in Harford County, Maryland
Harford County Public Schools is based in Bel Air, the county seat of Harford County, Maryland. Harford County is home to 249,215 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[10] Harford County Public Schools is the eighth-largest school district in Maryland, serving 38,224 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[11]


Harford County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Maryland in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 31.5 percent of Harford 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 Harford County was $80,441 compared to $72,999 for the state of Maryland. The poverty rate in Harford County was 7.5 percent compared to 9.4 percent for the entire state.[10]

Racial Demographics, 2012[10]
Race Harford County (%) Maryland (%)
White 81.4 60.8
Black or African American 13.1 30.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.5
Asian 2.8 6.0
Two or More Races 2.3 2.5
Hispanic or Latino 3.8 8.7

Party registration, 2014[12]
Party Number of registered voters
Republican 67,823
Democratic 62,655
Unaffiliated 29,607
Other 1,215
Libertarian 814
Green 316
Total 162,430

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.[13] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

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