Thomas Fitzpatrick

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Thomas Fitzpatrick
Thomas Fitzpatrick.jpg
Board member, Harford County Board of Education, District F
Incumbent
Term ends
June 2015
Years in position 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionJune 24, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
AppointedAugust 2012
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sLoyola College
Master'sUniversity of Baltimore
Personal
ProfessionManufacturer's representative
Websites
Office website
Thomas Fitzpatrick currently represents District F on the Harford County Board of Education in Maryland. He was first appointed to the board in August 2012.[1] Fitzpatrick advanced from a primary election on June 24, 2014 to face challenger Michael R. Hitchings in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Biography

Fitzpatrick earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Loyola College. He later received a M.B.A. from the University of Baltimore. Fitzpatrick currently works as a manufacturer's representative for Storm Services LLC.[2]

Elections

2014

See also: Harford County Public Schools elections (2014)

Opposition

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 will face 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 and his name still appeared on the ballot. District F incumbent Thomas Fitzpatrick and Michael R. Hitchings will square 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.

This is the first time that county voters will select members of 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.[3]

Results

Harford County Public Schools, District F Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngThomas Fitzpatrick Incumbent 39.8% 1,819
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMichael R. Hitchings 38.4% 1,758
     Nonpartisan Joe Fleckenstein 21.8% 996
Total Votes 4,573
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections, "Unofficial Results for the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election," accessed June 25, 2014 These election results are unofficial. They will be updated once certified election results are available.

Funding

Fitzpatrick has reported no contributions or expenditures to the Maryland State Board of Elections as of June 10, 2014.[4]

Endorsements

Fitzpatrick received endorsements from The Baltimore Sun and the New Harford Democratic Club prior to the primary election.[5]

Campaign themes

2014

Fitzpatrick 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?

Being on this Board has been a real baptism into the workings of Harford County government. I have worked hard to build relationships with our counterparts on the County Council. I have worked with David Craig off and on for a long time, and I have also worked to strengthen my relationship with Sen. Glassman, who I have known from years ago when I lived in Darlington. I have gotten to know all the members of the County Council . Given the fact that the CE and the CC control our total funding, a proactive and collaborative role is the best way to move forward, in my view.

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.

We have made considerable strides in this area since I have been on the Board. The New Town tragedy happened right after I came on board, and we were all very sensitive to the remaining shortcomings that existed in our security apparatus. Still. Mr. Benedetto had done a fine job keeping our schools safe, and has worked diligently to upgrade our security in areas that had not yet been addressed before that tragedy occurred. I also appreciate the efforts of Councilman Joe Woods in obtaining funds to augment our efforts.

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.

When HCPS introduced magnets schools, its transportation costs jumped by 50%. This change stood out our in our budget deliberations. It made magnets look like an expensive luxury, so we were challenged to find ways to continue to provide first class educational opportunities for our best and brightest, while still providing services to all the HCPS community. As a member of the Operations Committee, I helped lead an effort to engage a consultant to examine our transportation policies and recommend costs savings measures. It was not surprising that the first report back from our subcontractors complimented us on taking both of these steps (second tier and ending waivers) and they would have been the consultant's first recommendations. (Indeed wavers for students close to schools are not something that is common in other systems) Additionally, the consultant recommended the purchase and use of route mapping software, which is being done. We hope that this technology will give us the opportunity to spot other changes that can be made to reduce the inconvenience that these changes have imposed on our parents.

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

There are two key tools that we can use, and we can work toward obtaining. They are professional development of our staff, and the introduction and use of technology. Our Superintendent, Barbara Canavan has placed enormous emphasis on professional development. She has played a significant leadership role in promoting outreach and inclusion all up and down the HCPS organization chart. In a budget atmosphere where our teachers and staff have gone without much needed pay increases for years, we have to find other ways to motivate and improve our staff. Professional development and training have been what we are most capable of doing on a restricted budget. This is not only important from a training perspective, but it is also crucial to making our teachers feel as though they are valued and respected as professionals. It has been a key component in the tremendous improvement in morale in our system over the past year. Our teachers know the fiscal score, and they appreciate the fact that we are doing our best to look out for them and improve their skills. We are woefully behind in the implementation of technology in our schools. I read an article on Politico the other day that blandly asserted that the ratio of computers to students in the US is nearly one to one. NOT in Harford County. In fact, the ration is more like less than one to two. This stems for years of neglecting investment in this much needed resource. Another reason is that there are still large parts of Harford County that still do not have decent high speed internet access. Even so, we were able to purchase three dimensional printers for our high schools so that our students could gain some early exposure to this world changing technology. We will continue moving forward in bringing technology to our schools. But we have a lot of catching up to do.

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

In the last year, focus on rolling out the Common Core has changed considerably, What once was a top down, closed process under Superintendent Tombeck, has become an inclusive process under Superintendent Canavan. This is a crucial move, and has met with enthusiastic approval from the many teachers and staff I've talked to about this. As you probably know, implementation of the PARCC assessments has been delayed, relieving some of the anxiety that many associated with Common Core implementation were feeling. Until that change was made, we were faced with the prospect of having to evaluate teachers via an unfamiliar evaluation tool at the same time they were being handed an entirely new curriculum.

[6]

The Baltimore Sun, (2014), [7]

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.[8] Harford County Public Schools is the eighth-largest school district in Maryland, serving 38,224 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[9]

Demographics

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.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2012[8]
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[10]
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.[11]

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