Former Frederick Executive Jan Gardner Among Final Two AIB Nominees

The statewide board tasked with overseeing implementation of the landmark Blueprint for Maryland’s Future has announced the final two candidates to fill a vacancy left when a member moved to the Moore-Miller Administration. Former Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner is among the final two being considered.

The Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) is tasked with overseeing the implementation of Maryland’s major education policy reform initiative known as the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. The Board currently has a vacancy for one member, left when Fagan Harris resigned his seat to join the Moore-Miller Administration as Moore’s Chief of Staff. Harris was set to serve as one of the seven AIB members through July 2024.

On February 10, the AIB launched an application process to fill Harris’ seat. Applications were due to the Nominating Committee by 8:00 p.m. on February 24, 2023.

The Accountability and Implementation Board Nominating Committee (AIBNC) is required to submit at least two nominees to the Governor to fill a vacancy on the
AIB. On April 4, the AIBNC submitted the following two candidates for consideration:

  • Jan Gardner, former Frederick County Executive and past MACo president
  • Justin Robinson, Prince George’s County Public Schools teacher

According to a press release:

A total of 45 valid applications were submitted by the February 24 deadline. The majority of applicants applied for the first time (32). Most of the applicants reside in Baltimore City (11) and Prince George’s County (9), with other applicants living in Montgomery County (7), Anne Arundel County (4), Howard County (4), Baltimore County (2), Frederick County (2), and (1) each from Allegany, Carroll, Charles, Queen Anne, and Washington counties. Slightly more than half of the applicants were female (25). A slight majority were white (20); the remaining applicants identified their race as Black (18), Asian (3), Hispanic (3), and Afro-Latino (1).

The AIB must, to the extent practicable for a seven–member board, reflect the geographic, racial, and gender diversity of the State, as well as collectively reflect the six areas of expertise specified in the law. The AIBNC considered these factors and the individual qualities of each
applicant when choosing the nominees from the applicant pool. Brief biographical information is provided for each nominee below.

Jan H. Gardner: Gardner served in elected in office in Frederick County for 20 years, including 8 years as County Executive and 12 years as a county commissioner. During her tenure leading Frederick County government, she implemented the county’s transition to a Charter Government and established the vision and direction for the county to deliver outstanding public schools, safe communities, and a thriving economy. She was a member of three statewide school construction commissions, including the 21st Century School Facilities Commission. Ms. Gardner has gained
knowledge of budget, financing, and auditing through her service on various government boards and commissions in Frederick and Washington counties and other regional bodies, including serving as past president of the Maryland Association of Counties and the Washington Council of Governments.

Justin K. Robinson: Robinson is a 12-year educator in the Prince George’s County Public Schools and is certified to teach secondary mathematics, social studies, English Language Arts, and science and to serve as a school administrator. He earned National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Mathematics in 2017 and is a doctoral candidate at the Johns Hopkins University researching teacher attrition. A board member of the Prince George’s County Education Association, he collaborates with district administration to implement the education career ladder and serves on
the contract negotiation team. He has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and is a member of the Prince George’s County Blueprint Implementation Committee and Career Ladder Development Team.

To fill a vacancy on the AIB, the Governor must select one individual to appoint to AIB
from among AIBNC’s two nominees within 30 days of receiving the slate.

Read the full AIB press release.