Board VP Patricia O'Neill Honored for Service at State and Local Level

July 23, 2009
Board Vice President Patricia O’Neill To Receive Charles A. Willis Award, Highest Honor of Maryland Association of Boards of Education

The Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) has selected Patricia O’Neill, vice president of the Montgomery County Board of Education, to receive the Charles A. Willis Award.

The Charles W. Willis Award was established in memory of MABE's first executive director.  Limited to a single honoree annually, the award represents recognition by board member peers of outstanding service at the local and state level and is MABE's highest honor. 

The award is based on the following criteria: demonstrates keen understanding of his/her responsibilities as a board member in the formulation of policy and the establishment of sound educational programs; works affirmatively to foster improved student achievement; works proactively to foster community engagement with all education stakeholders; devotes personal time, effort, and skill to promote the goals of public education; accepts and fulfills the responsibilities of a board member by working collaboratively with board and staff and adhering to high ethical standards; and values diversity by advocating for the educational needs of all children.

Mrs. O’Neill will be honored during MABE’s annual conference in September.

Mrs. O'Neill was first elected to the Board of Education in 1998. She is currently serving as vice president of the Board. She has served three times as Board president and four times as vice president. Mrs. O’Neill is chair of the Policy Committee and a member of the Fiscal Management Committee and the Communications and Public Engagement Committee. She also recently participated in the Harvard Public Education Leadership Project.

Mrs. O’Neill is past president of MABE and past co-chair of the Washington Area Boards of Education. She has served on numerous advisory committees for education-related issues, including the Maryland Blue Ribbon Panel on Teen Pregnancy and the Maryland Comp HSA Task Force. In 2006, she was named by then-Governor Robert Ehrlich to represent MABE on the newly formed Task Force on School Safety and was selected as a member of the national network of 100 District Leaders for Citizenship and Service-Learning. Prior to joining the Board, Mrs. O’Neill was a longtime PTA activist in the Walt Whitman Cluster who served in various volunteer and leadership roles.

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