CENTREVILLE — Richard A. Smith of Centreville has been appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan to fill a vacant seat on the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education.
Smith is a local Realtor and former Queen Anne’s County commissioner, who also previously served on the school board.
“Mr. Smith brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the county to the board, and I look forward to working with him,” said school board President Beverly Kelley.
Smith fills the board seat left vacant when Carrie O’Connor resigned in March.
He was set to attend his first board meeting June 5.
“We welcome the perspective that Mr. Smith brings as a former elected official and local business person,” said Queen Anne’s Superintendent of Schools Andrea Kane.
Smith said he is looking forward to serving on the board and maintains the views and philosophy that he campaigned on during the last election, when he lost to O’Connor.
Smith is a Queen Anne’s County native who lives in Centreville. As a former Queen Anne’s County commissioner, Smith was appointed to serve the remaining years of the term of R.O. “Nemo” Niedomanski, who died in 2005.
Smith previously served on the school board for seven years.
He also has served on various committees over the years, including the Ethics Commission and the Kent Narrows Development Corp., where he served as chairman.
He worked at Tidewater Publishers for 30 years and now runs Smith Farms and Smith Realty.
Smith said his work in the private sector has given him a good understanding of finance. With a business degree and minor in economics, Smith said he is used to putting together multi-million dollar budgets, but he also keeps a household budget.
This experience is relevant to the board’s challenges regarding funding, he said in an interview prior to the 2018 election.
He said he hopes his perspective from sitting on both the school board and serving as county commissioner will help strike a balance that is good for all.
Smith’s family has attended Queen Anne’s County Public Schools since 1917, beginning with his grandfather, and he has a grandchildren who currently attend.
Overall, Smith said he wants to see everyone in the school system treated fairly, students and staff, and to see parents get involved, especially in areas of accountability and enforcing consequences for negative behavior.
He said school board members need to be willing to make tough decisions.
“(You) can’t keep everyone happy, but you do need to do the best you can by students, the community and teachers — and be more consistent,” he said.
When O’Connor resigned, she said she wanted to spend more time with her daughters and focus on other work-related concerns.