New Board of Education Members To Be Sworn In Dec. 4

December 1, 2008
Swearing-In Ceremony for Newly Elected Members of the Board of Education Set for December 4

Retiring Members of the Board Abrams and Cox Also Will Be Honored

Newly elected members of the Board of Education Laura Berthiaume (District 2) and Phil Kauffman (At-large), and returning member Christopher Barclay (District 4) will be sworn in during a ceremony at the Carver Educational Services Center on Thursday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m.

Christopher Barclay was originally appointed by the Board of Education in December 2006 to fill the term of the vacant District 4 seat, before being elected to the post last month. He is chair of the Fiscal Management Committee and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Barclay has served in a number of volunteer leadership roles with the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA), including Montgomery Blair cluster coordinator and MCCPTA Nominating Committee chair. He also has served on the NAACP Parents’ Council. He was active in development of the Downcounty Consortium, as a member of the Downcounty Consortium Base Area Study Committee. He also has been involved in community leadership roles on the Takoma Foundation Board of Directors and the Takoma Park Department of Recreation Advisory Committee.

Barclay has worked in the telecommunications industry since 1993 and currently is a project manager with Verizon. He is a 1984 graduate of Columbia College of Chicago. He is married and has three children attending MCPS.

Laura Berthiaume is serving her first term as a member of the Board of Education. She is a partner at Farthing & Farthing, a law firm in downtown Rockville, where she practices primarily trust and estates and elder law.

Berthiaume served on the Board of Trustees of the National Center for Children and Families. She also has served as a cluster co-coordinator for the Rockville Cluster and as a Beall elementary delegate in the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations. She recently served as president of the Rockville Chapter of the Friends of the Library and is a member of the Grass Roots Organization for the Well-Being of Seniors (GROWS).

A graduate of the University of Virginia and Georgetown University Law Center, Berthiaume also holds a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. She is married and has three children.

Phil Kaufman is serving his first term as a member of the Board of Education. Kauffman is deputy assistant general counsel with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He supervises a national staff of attorneys responsible for providing legal support to the VA's health care and information technology acquisition program.

For the past 13 years, Kauffman has served as an elected local and county PTA leader. He has served on the Montgomery County Council of PTA's Board of Directors as the area vice president for the Sherwood Cluster and Northeast Consortium. He has been a Blake cluster coordinator and Farquhar Middle School PTA president. In May 2007, he was awarded an honorary life membership to the Maryland PTA.

Kauffman received a degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from the University of Maryland. He is married with two daughters who graduated from MCPS.

A program and reception following the swearing-in ceremony also will honor retiring Board members Steve Abrams and Sharon Cox.

Election of officers for the new Board will take place during the Board of Education business meeting on December 9, 2008.

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