October 16, 2018
School & Youth
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  • An aerospace engineer and mother of two Cape St. Claire students, Morgan Van Arsdall joined the CAC so she could facilitate information and learn more about how the school system works.
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    An aerospace engineer and mother of two Cape St. Claire students, Morgan Van Arsdall joined the CAC so she could facilitate information and learn more about how the school system works.

Morgan Van Arsdall To Represent Broadneck Cluster On CAC

Maya Pottiger
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August 7, 2018

In July’s election, Morgan Van Arsdall was voted in as the Broadneck cluster representative on the Citizen Advisory Committee.

Van Arsdall, a mother of two Cape St. Claire students, also applied to be a member of the committee two years ago.

“I really wanted to get more involved in the district in general, learn more about how it works beyond my little school, to be helpful, to facilitate information,” Van Arsdall said. “I think, sometimes, there seems to be a disconnect between what happens day-to-day in your kid’s life versus what happens in the 80,000-person district. If you can have people that can help bridge that gap, that would be something helpful.”

The Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) is the “community arm of the Board of Education,” said Teresa Tudor, the senior manager of school and family partnerships at Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Each cluster has two representatives: the elementary representative and the secondary representative, who handles the middle and high schools.

The CAC goes between the board members and members of the community to make sure everyone’s voices are being heard.

“It’s important to have that community voice, and it’s important that it’s two-way,” Tudor said.

CAC representatives have clear distinctions from PTA members. While the PTA members work with the superintendent and are parents of each particular school, CAC representatives work with the Board of Education and can be any member of the community.

Before her role on the CAC, Van Arsdall volunteered at Cape St. Claire. She has worked in the school’s library and has helped with the NASA BEST (Beginner Engineering Science and Technology) program. Previously, she was an adjunct professor at Anne Arundel Community College, where she taught Women and Minorities in Science.

Van Arsdall is an aerospace engineer and works with the Hubble Space Telescope.

“I hope that perspective helps, too,” Van Arsdall said. “I think there’s a lot of people involved in education policy that don’t have a science and engineering background.”

Education policy has always interested Van Arsdall, and she is excited to get started with the CAC.

“There’s a lot of great things about Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and there’s some things that definitely could be improved,” Van Arsdall said. “It seems like a good way that I can use things that I enjoy doing to really accentuate the positive things but also try to make sure it’s the best district we can be for all our kids, not just my kids.”

The CAC votes new members in yearly. Each member can serve a two- or three-year term, and members are capped at two terms. This year, to fill 17 seats, there were more than 60 applications, Tudor said.

“People really like to sit on it,” Tudor said. “They get lots and lots of information about the school system. The obligation there is you have to take that information back and make sure that you’re sharing it.”

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