Meet Howard County Education Board Candidate: Jen Mallo

COLUMBIA, MD — When voters cast their ballots in the Nov. 3 elections, they will be asked to select individuals to serve on the Howard County’s board of education.

Patch asked each candidate to answer questions to help provide voters with information about who they are and their stances on various issues. We are printing their responses in full, unedited except for spelling or punctuation. Below are the responses from candidate Jen Mallo.

Age (as of Election Day)

51

Town/City of Residence

Columbia

Office Sought

County School Board

Party Affiliation

Democrat

Family

Husband, 3 children who graduated from Wilde Lake HS

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

No

Education

MA, George Washington University, East Asian Studies
BA, Wittenberg University, Economics, East Asian Studies

Occupation

Board of Education member (2 years), Education Advocate/Activist (25 years), Blessings in Backpack Coordinator (2+ years), University Administration (2 years)

Campaign website

votejenmallo.com

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

Current member of the Howard County Board of Education
Policy Chair, Howard County Board of Education
Director, Legal Services Administration of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education
Howard County Executive Spending Affordability Committee Member

The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

The single most pressing issue facing our school board is the coronavirus pandemic and how we continue to educate our students amidst it. I voted in favor of a virtual model along with 6 other of my colleagues because it was the right thing to do for the health and safety of our students and staff. The school system was unprepared with the protections and protocols that are necessary to have face to face instruction. Efforts needed to be focused on developing a robust virtual model, as well as for providing stability and consistency for our families and teachers. Our teachers worked hand in hand with the administration to learn how to deliver effective instruction, to use new tools, to help make sure all of our students had access to technology.

By focusing on science and safety concerns of the pandemic, we worked in the best interests of our students and staff. We know that virtual schooling is challenging for many of our students and families—which is why the administration is working to bring in small groups for in-person instruction as well as developing a hybrid model for presentation to the Board on Oct. 22, 2020.
I will do my homework, do the research, follow the public health guidance, and make decisions that are based on science. I will not capitulate to loud, angry voices. As leaders, we must put the needs of our students and staff ahead of the politics that disregards the science and puts our community’s health at risk.

Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?

Yes, I support Black

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