Michelle Corkadel of Anne Arundel County was sworn in on October 3 as President of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE).
The association, a leading advocate for public education in Maryland since 1957, is comprised of all 24 Maryland boards of education. Corkadel was sworn in at MABE’s Annual Conference 2023, held earlier this week in Annapolis. She takes the association’s leadership reins from school board member Joseph Goetz of Kent County.
A longtime advocate for children and public schools, Corkadel has served as a board member on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education since 2018, including when she was the school board’s president from December 2019 through December 2020. She also has been Treasurer and President-Elect of MABE, and, for several years, has been active on MABE’s Budget, Educational Equity, Federal Advocacy, and Legislative Committees, as well as in MABE’s Annual Conference and the association’s frequent Board Service Academy trainings.
In addition to her work with MABE, Corkadel served as Delegate and Eastern District Leader for the National School Boards Association, representing Maryland. Prior to joining the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, she was a Constituent Service Officer with Anne Arundel County, where she represented 220,000 residents on behalf of the County Executive. Here, she collaborated with local organizations and community partners to enable resident access to county service and accelerate community objectives, and advanced county objectives by serving on legislative and community project-based workgroups and task forces.
Corkadel also brings to her role at MABE work experience as Managing Director of a multi-platform consulting firm in Maryland, as Development and Operations Manager for Annapolis-based Grant Architects, and as Vice President of Business and Data Projects for technology research firm Multicom Research, Inc. A Maryland-licensed realtor, Corkadel has been an active member of numerous civic and community organizations at both the local and national levels, serving in several leadership and volunteer roles.
“Michelle stepping into the presidential leadership role at MABE in the midst of implementation efforts of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future would be a major challenge for anyone,” said Goetz, referring to Maryland landmark legislation intended to enhance and improve state and local investment in, and school system operation of, Maryland’s public school system. “But given her successful track record, experience, and dedication to championing public education in our state, Michelle is more than up to the task. Her direct experience with so many of the most critical issues facing school systems in our state will go a long way.”
Corkadel noted much of her focus for the coming year will be on the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. “We must continue to advocate for full implementation funding, fewer unfunded mandates and regulations, and greater flexibility, for starters,” she said, adding that decision-makers must take into account that some of the most pressing education needs for rural communities differ from those of their more densely populated counterparts.
Also sworn in during MABE’s Annual Conference 2023 were MABE’s newly elected officers and board of directors. MABE President-Elect for the coming year is Karin Bailey (St. Mary’s County); the Treasurer is Shebra Evans (Montgomery County); and the Secretary is Cecil County’s Diana Hawley. In addition to MABE’s officers, the organization’s incoming Board of Directors is comprised of 12 board members from 11 Maryland counties and Baltimore City.
MABE also presented during its Annual Conference earlier this week its Distinguished School Board Service Award. The biennial award, presented to Charles County’s Virginia (“Ginny”) McGraw, is presented to a school board member who has made outstanding contributions to public education through school board service in Maryland. Local board of education members highlighted McGraw’s strong community involvement, work with local groups to provide needed school system resources, and strategic leadership abilities in making their award nominations. McGraw, formerly a teacher and vice principal with Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), served as President of MABE during 2021-2022 and an active board member of CCPS. In 2009, she was named CCPS Principal of the Year.
MABE Annual Conference this year drew nearly 200 attendees, focused on school board members and leaders, superintendents, agency officials, and other key education stakeholders from across the state.