State Board Member Q&A: A Conversation with Tammy Fraley

Jennifer Beltz

Tammy FraleyTammy Fraley (Allegany County) served as MABE President during the 2020-2021 term and chairs MABE’s 2021-2022 Nominating Committee as immediate past president. A member of the Allegany County Board of Education, Ms. Fraley serves on MABE’s Budget, Conference Program, and Legislative Committees, as well as the recently established Blueprint Implementation Ad Hoc Committee.

We checked in with Tammy to get her thoughts on her service, her take on school board member traits most needed for 2022, and advice for school board colleagues facing another challenging year.

Q: If you had one piece of advice for your school board colleagues from throughout Maryland for the coming year, what would that be?

Know that what seems impossible today will be possible in the future — look at where we are 21 months after March 2020!

Q: What are traits you believe school board members in Maryland may need most during the upcoming year?

As we tread lightly into 2022, traits of school board members in Maryland are very fluid. Having the ability to work well with others while applying grace and compassion is key. Being willing to collaborate with your fellow board members locally and around the state will be required to make it through the Blueprint [for Maryland’s Future] implementation. Lastly, realizing we are all human and have lived with the impacts of the pandemic over the past 21 months will provide any member the opportunity to enjoy serving their communities.

Q: If you had to name the biggest strength of MABE’s member Boards as a whole, what would that be?

Collaboration and cooperation — having MABE in your corner when it comes to understanding the latest legislative changes and their impact on our local boards is IMPERATIVE.

Q: What was the most rewarding aspect of having served as MABE President during the 2020-2021 term? How about the most challenging aspect?

The most rewarding aspect was being able to be part of helping the state navigate through the impacts of the pandemic on our state educational system. [MABE] being a place for people to express their concerns and learn from each other was inspiring. The most challenging was the politics that have plagued public education for years.

Q: What would you say you’ve valued most about your involvement with MABE over the years?

I have valued the friendships I’ve been able to make and the information I have gleaned from MABE. Living in the far western part of the state, it was helpful to have this sounding board with others! 

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