Washington Seeks Re-Election to Fifth School Board Term

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St. Mary’s County Board of Education District 4 incumbent Mary Washington is seeking re-election to a fifth term. She is being challenged by newcomer Joel Rose in the general election. The following is a transcript of an interview with Washington conducted recently by Bay Net Editor Dick Myers. It was edited slightly due to space considerations.

The Bay Net: Could you tell us about yourself

Mary Washington: I was born in Georgia. My family moved to Maryland. I graduated from Baltimore public schools and the University of Maryland with a degree is Social and Behavioral Sciences. Then I got married to a military man and we traveled the world. He was in the Army. When he retired he said where do you want to live and I said, “Anywhere in the world.” Never mind outside the country because we are going to have children and I am going to be a stay-at-home mom. He said I found this place that I have a job offer. He said I have been to a lot of places but I like this place. He said I love St. Mary’s County. That is a wonderful place to raise a family. I read about it when I was in school, the county commissioner form of government and St. Mary’s County. I learned some of that history but I had never been down here. So we moved right down the street (from the Bay Net) in 1984 and we had two children. You know a stay-at-home mom does not stay at home. I was the director of religious education for the Base Chapel for 10 years. Even before my son entered kindergarten I started volunteering. I loved it so much I kept doing it. Then someone said somebody from the board of ed is going to be elected and you need to run and I said, “Oh no! Not me. I don’t want to be in the Spotlight.” I am a shy person. I am not highly opinionated. I don’t want to be in politics. I just want to help teachers do whatever they want me to do, cutting and pasting and working with children in small groups. People kept calling me and I prayed about it and I said, “Lord is that your will?” I prayed and my answer was “Yes!” He led me to scripture (a lot of people don’t understand that kind of stuff). He led me to Exodus, and He was talking to Moses and Moses was saying “Don’t go.” He said, “I am not that eloquent in word of speech than somebody else.” And the Lord said he gave him the mouth and “Go and I will teach you what to say.” I was agonizing over that decision because I had done my research and I knew what I was going to be getting into and I knew the road would not be easy. I would go from a private person who was quiet to a public person where people would know who you are. I have never been highly opinionated. I always like to listen to all sides of the issue. So I ran for the Board of Ed in 1996 with the first elected board. I think they started with maybe 32 people running for five seats. I think I had the most people running in the 4th District and I ran and was out there holding up my signs, doing everything it takes and I won.

TBN: Did you get to like it.

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