SEABROOK – County Executive Angela Alsobrooks nominated Bryan M. Swann as the new member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education in the vacant District 4 seat on Nov. 20.
According to the County Executive’s office, Swann currently works at the U.S. Department of Treasury as the deputy director of the Office of Financial Management. He was selected from a “pool of highly-qualified candidates” who were interviewed by Alsobrooks after an open application process for residents in District 4.
The area encompasses several cities, including Cheverly, Bladensburg, Landover, Capitol Heights, Hyattsville and Glenarden.
“Bryan Swann will be a strong advocate for students and teachers not just in Board of Education District 4, but for every school and community in our county,” Alsobrooks said. “His background and knowledge in budget analysis and operational management will make him a strong asset to our Board, helping us navigate the challenges and opportunities we face for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS).”
Swann worked in the White House during the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense and has experience working in the private sector. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business management from the University of Maryland, College Park. He also earned a Master of Public Administration degree at Harvard University, with a focus on studies in educational policy and digital government and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“As a product of PGCPS, I am proud to serve the community I grew up in,” Swann, who has two sons currently in the school system, said. “Our county has a rich foundation to build upon, but significant work lies ahead. I look forward to working with the other board members, administration, schools, communities and parents to advocate and champion excellence with equity for our children.”
The District 4 seat has been vacant since former representative Patricia Eubanks resigned on Sept. 30.
At the time of her resignation, she did not explain her departure. However, Deputy Chief of Staff to the county executive John Erzen said in October that she was asked to leave her position due to residency issues. A board of education member must live in the district they serve for the duration of their term, according to the PGCPS Board of Education Handbook.
“It was brought to our attention that she was not living in her district and had apparently not been living in her district for a long enough period of time that we felt that it was in the best interest of the integrity of the board and in ensuring public trust that she resign because the law requires that you live in the district that you represent,” Erzen said.
During the Oct. 24 board of education meeting, Eubanks made her first public comments about her resignation. She said she struggled taking care of her mother, who has dementia while putting her children through college while losing her government job. Eubanks said she was homeless but continued to try to serve on the board.
“Who likes being accused, and especially when what was done wasn’t malicious intent, only trying to complete the good work that you started,” Eubanks said. “I make no justification for my actions, but I do apologize.”
Swann will be Alsobrook’s fourth appointment to the board of education. She appointed Dr. Alvin Thornton to serve as the board chair, and both Paul Monteiro and Sandra Shephard serve currently as board members. As with all county executive nominations, Swann’s nomination is subject to review from the Prince George’s County Council.
According to Council Chair Todd Turner, once all the official paperwork is finalized for Swann’s nomination, the council will review his application and vote on his appointment.
Once all the legal paperwork has been submitted, by law, the council has 45 days to vote, but the county council is currently on a legislative recess until January 2020.
Council officials have been communicating with the county executive’s office on when the paperwork has been submitted to make sure that the timeline is being properly followed and councilmembers have enough time to review his application, Turner said.
“We look forward in sitting down with Mr. Swann in the next 45 days or so to see his vision for that position,” Turner said. “For this past year, we have approved every single nominee the county executive has submitted to us as part of that process, and from what I have seen so far, and based on the preliminary information on him, he is very qualified.”
If Swann is confirmed, he will serve on the board for the remainder of the term until December 2020. Primary elections for the District 4 and other board of education seats are scheduled for April 2020.