Voters’ Guide: Board Of Education, District 5


The Primary Election is here. Marylanders can participate in early voting May 2-9 or vote on Election Day, May 14. For more information on how to vote, visit

The League of Women Voters has published its Voters’ Guide to educate the public about each political candidate’s qualifications and plans for office. Below is an abbreviated preview of candidate responses for the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, District 5.

One of the three candidates, Tareque Farruk, did not respond.

Find more responses at

How do your educational background and experience prepare you for the duties of this office and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?

LaToya Nkongolo
I am an award-winning mental health expert and entrepreneur with acclaimed programs in Anne Arundel County and exceptional budget management skills. I served as the Severna Park representative for Anne Arundel County Public Schools' (AACPS) Citizen Advisory Committee, effectively advocating for enhanced mental health resources in public schools. Above all, I'm a proud mother of two high-achieving scholar athletes.

Dana Schallheim
I'm a public school parent with a Master of Business Administration and have served on the board for the last six years, chairing multiple committees. I work with billion-dollar budgets, served through a global pandemic, a national superintendent search, a transportation shortage, new school start times, and the passage of the Blueprint (for Maryland’s Future). Improving early childhood literacy, expanding mental health counseling, fighting censorship and extremist policies, and implementing the blueprint with fidelity are my goals in a second term.

What do you consider the area of greatest need in our county’s public education system and how would you propose to address it?

LaToya Nkongolo
In less than a decade, AACPS, once top-ranked in the state of Maryland, has faltered, now mediocre at best despite rising taxes and increased funding for public school education. I aim to restore academic excellence, equip students and teachers, and enhance parental involvement. My goal is to revive our schools' former greatness and ensure taxpayers' investment yields returns.

Dana Schallheim
Improving early childhood literacy is a topic the board has discussed for years. We have addressed this issue by selecting a nationally recognized superintendent who has ample experience improving student outcomes. A new curriculum based on the science of reading will be implemented next year alongside enhanced supports for secondary students who continue to struggle in this area. Expanding access to full day prekindergarten, as well as community partnerships to mentor students, will also improve outcomes.


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