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Mike Erickson (Information not submitted)

Michael Fryar

Where you live: Gaithersburg

Date of birth: July 9, 1968 

Current occupation and employer:

Fryar Legal Services, LLC – attorney

Political experience:

Ran unsuccessfully for Board of Education in 2020 

Website: https://www.anewdawn4boe.com

Email: anewdawn4boe@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anewdawn4boe

Why are you running for this office?

I have spent 30-plus years as a teacher, administrator, social worker, attorney and advocate for children and education. The Board of Education is a position which will allow me to utilize my experience, education, and skills for a positive outcome for Montgomery County.

What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it?

Recovering from the learning loss stemming from the school shutdown. As we were the last school district to reopen in the entire country, the education, social, emotional and mental toll on children is profound. We need to focus on core subjects, reading, writing and math, and the mental and social well being of our children and help them to not just catch up to children around the country in areas that did not shut down, but to excel.

What is one major issue that has been handled poorly and what would you have done differently?

Closing the schools for so prolonged a period of time due to capitulation to the demands of the teachers union. We need to understand that the union is only a single voice at the board of education, no more or less important than parents and students.

What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office?

I am a practical problem solver with a long and successful record due to a combination of practical experience and education earned through a JD, and MBA and a M.Ed. I am trained to analyze education issues, think creatively, and design innovative solutions to achieve positive outcomes for multiple stakeholders.

Domenic Giandomenico

Where you live: Wheaton

Date of birth: June 9, 1980

Current occupation and employer:

Director of government relations – Project Lead The Way
Legislative director – Democrats for Education Reform
Senior director of education and workforce policy – U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Political experience:


Website: http://www.domformoc.com

Email: dg@domformoco.com

Facebook: @domformoco

Twitter: @domformoco

Instagram: @domformoco

Why are you running for this office?

When my daughter was diagnosed with autism, I experienced first-hand an education system that I’d been talking about and writing about for two decades. It’s a system filled with passionate teachers and providers. It’s also a system that’s deeply in need of repair, unresponsive to parents, and lacking in accountability.

We were only able to get Phoebe enrolled into the Pre-K program because my wife and I knew how to navigate the system from our professional experience. Parents shouldn’t have to wage war against a $3-plus billion a year system just to get the services their children deserve.

I’m running for this office so my kids – and everyone else’s – get an excellent education.

What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it?

Teacher burnout and student recovery from Covid learning loss are twin crises that are threatening to create an entire generation of MCPS students that are underprepared for their lives. According to The Brookings Institution, student performance declines are significantly larger than estimated impacts from other large-scale school disruptions, such as after Hurricane Katrina. They report that achievement gap between high-poverty and low-poverty students has surged by nearly 20%. At the same time, more than half of teachers nationally report having plans to leave the classroom entirely because of the stresses incurred since COVID-19 began.

My plan is to implement team teaching at MCPS. Rather than shrink classrooms (which requires expensive infrastructure), we can shrink teachers’ jobs and provide them with support. Students get more individualized attention, teachers can go hybrid – virtual with far less burden if need be, and give teachers more options in the classroom.

What is one major issue that has been handled poorly and what would you have done differently?

When a police officer accosted a 5-year old student at East Silver Spring Elementary, the district’s response was horrific. Not only do we not know if there were any repercussions for the officer, the district tried to shuffle the principal involved in the incident to another school. They removed police from schools, and not long after, we experienced a school shooting at Magruder High School. Now MCPS is bringing back police with some new branding and a new name (Community Engagement Officers), but still without any accountability or transparency.

Students cannot reach their potential if they don’t feel safe. It doesn’t matter if their perceived threat is from either the presence of or lack of police. They won’t feel safe until we have a plan for holding every adult in MCPS accountable for their performance and transgressions, and are transparent about it. Every adult in the system can ruin a kid’s life if they try hard enough–that distinction is not reserved for police.

What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office?

I have spent nearly two decades in Silver Spring, working on education and workforce development policy for organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Democrats for Education Reform, AdvanceCTE, and Project Lead The Way. I’ve helped write education laws federally and in about 20 states. I’ve organized business leaders to become more knowledgeable about the issues facing our schools to improve their ability to participate and get involved. I’ve also worked with state and local education agencies to help implement new programs and laws, providing technical assistance and connecting them with national resources.

I’m proud to have worked on both sides of the aisle and in a non-partisan capacity throughout my career. And throughout my career, the message has always been the same: We must provide every single American with the education they need to prepare them for whatever comes next, and that their needs must always come first.

Karla Silvestre

Where you live: Silver Spring

Date of birth: Aug. 31, 1972

Current occupation and employer:

Director of community engagement, Montgomery College
Director of the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center and Latino community liaison, Montgomery County Government
Vice president of Children and Youth Programs, Congreso de Latinos Unidos (Philadelphia)

Political experience:
I am finishing my first term on the Board of Education as an at-large member and am currently the vice president of the board.

Website: https://www.karlasilvestre.com/

Email: karlasilvestre2018@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/KarlaSilvestre4BOE

Why are you running for this office?

I am running for re-election because I am deeply committed to ensuring that all of our students graduate ready to excel in college, in the workforce, and in our community. Too many students are not achieving at their highest potential, and we can and must do better. My decades of experience in community engagement, workforce development, and education make me uniquely prepared to help lead MCPS into the high performing district our students deserve.

What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it?

Pandemic recovery is the most important issue. This means learning recovery especially for our youngest learners who were most impacted. I plan to ensure successful implementation of structured literacy, tutoring, and summer school prioritizing students that need it the most. Pandemic recovery also means implementing a successful county-wide social emotional program so that our students’ mental health concerns can be addressed, and they can be ready to learn. Finally, we must be the most competitive employer in the region so we can hire and retain highly qualified staff that reflect our community, starting with a “grow your own” program.

What is one criticism you have received while in office and what is your response?

One criticism I have received while in office is that board members are not responsive. I receive dozens of emails daily. Some people also message me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It is very challenging to respond to all emails and communications in a school system of over 160,000 students with complex issues to resolve. I read all of the communications that I receive and strive to respond when the inquiry is specifically directed to me. I have discussed with board staff ways in which I can be more effective in responding to stakeholders.

What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office?

I am the current vice president of the Board of Education and have gained valuable governance experience in my first term that I can use to guide the school system not only to recovery but also innovation and transformation. I am a lifelong educator who has taught English as a second language, STEM focusing on hands-on science, & truant boys. I work as the director of community engagement for Montgomery College and previously served as Latino community liaison for county government. I know education from kindergarten to graduation to the workforce. I’m an MCPS parent and immigrant who understands our diverse county.