Connect with us


2022 Voter Guide: Amanda Jozkowski, candidate for Carroll County Board of Education



Carroll County Board of Education

Amanda Jozkowski



Eldersburg, Carroll County

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy & Occupational Science, Towson University

PhD in Occupational Science, University of Southern California (2014) Graduate Certificate in Clinical, Biomedical, and Translational Investigations, USC Keck School of Medicine (2013) BS/MS in Occupational Therapy, Towson University (2008)

I have not held formal elected office. I was appointed Student Representative for the Arts to the WA State Board of Education while in high school, and have organized for local and national political campaigns for 20+ years.

Why are you running for office?

I’m a parent, an educator, and a health care professional, and have watched with interest and sometimes disappointment as decisions affecting our children, teachers, and community have been made by the Board over the past several years. We need to regain trust in the Board and work to calm some of the upset and misinformation we are seeing now. Because of my professional training, I understand the ins and outs of the IEP process, curriculum development, and strategic planning for school systems. I am qualified and motivated to lead, and will bring both a fresh perspective to the Board, as well as a genuine desire to get things done. I seek to balance the use of evidence and heart, as well as flexibility and accountability, to guide decision-making in all areas – from organization and administration, to public health-related decisions, to discussions of curriculum content and delivery methods.

What do you see as the most pressing issue the county school system faces and how would you address it?

We must support our educators and students, the dual backbones of schools. Without them, our system will not succeed. Students have missed out on critical instruction and supportive services, are facing increased standardized testing demands and social isolation, and are adapting to a world that has changed dramatically in the past several years. Teachers are overworked, overwhelmed, undervalued, and exiting their noble profession in record numbers. If elected, I will work to improve the working and learning environment for all. This includes enhancing access to wraparound services, technology, and alternative education models to increase equity and opportunity for success, addressing bullying and promoting a culture of inclusive education, working to recruit, retain, and empower highly qualified school system employees, and providing better training, increasing compensation, and prioritizing more diverse hires. Fully funding and implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will go a long way toward helping CCPS achieve these goals.

How should county schools assist students in recovering from the learning loss?

I like to reframe “learning loss” as opportunity to be forward-thinking in our approach to post-pandemic education. We should focus on rigorous academic preparation and real-world skills such as media literacy, interpersonal communication, and ethics. This is how we will make our community stronger. CCPS’s recovery and Extended Learning Opportunity programs have been helpful for most who have participated, but not all were given this opportunity and others chose not to take it. We should continue these programs and expand them if possible. For students with accommodations and additional learning needs, we need more supportive services staff and improved access to technology. CCPS must also move to reduce class sizes so that more individualized instruction and less distraction can occur. My goal is to understand what each student, school, and educator needs to be successful, assess what is and isn’t working, and develop a comprehensive plan to target these issues.

Should the county school board consider adjusting school boundaries further? What criteria should be considered?

Currently no Board members live in the southern part of the county, where much of the new development is happening, and where many families who have a direct stake in the school system are choosing to live and work. A resident of Eldersburg, I’ve witnessed first-hand the overcrowding and crumbling infrastructure, so I know redistricting is critical. The Board and community committee members must work closely with Commissioners and planning officials to review long-term budget and growth projections, and consider models from similar systems that have proven effective. Adjusting school boundaries is always a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be painful. It’s important to me to listen to citizens in the affected neighborhoods, and to thoughtfully incorporate their input with an understanding of the system’s strategic plan and initiatives such as the MD Blueprint to ensure that decisions are guided by evidence and in alignment with community priorities.

What efforts do the county schools need to make to address systemic racism in education and society?

A school system that elevates all actively works to address racism and foster an environment of equity and belonging. This is achieved through: -Removing barriers/increasing access. -Providing individualized accommodations. -Welcoming students and validating all perspectives. -Relating life experiences to learning objectives so that the curriculum is more relevant to students. -Including teaching materials that reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. -Remaining mindful of religious and cultural observances in planning events and activities. -Offering out-of-classroom supports such as technology, mental health services, and youth/family development opportunities. -Improving school building conditions and distributing resources equitably so that those students most at risk of drop-out, poor physical and mental health, and schools with higher teacher turnover are targeted. -Increasing diversity among teachers and other school employees so that kids can see themselves represented in leadership and can identify with role models who look like them or have similar identities/abilities.

What, if any, changes would you propose to the school system’s discipline policies?

Bullying and bias/hate incidents seriously affect students’ mental health and ability to participate successfully in their education. We need more supportive services staff to assist teachers and give students individual attention. The Board should consider additional guidelines for repeat offenses and the process for tracking these. It is important to look for patterns, both among those doing the bullying, and among targets, so that more intensive support may be provided as needed. I am a trained peer mediator and think that most effective approach is one where everyone feels heard and the response is not only timely, but is individualized to the parties involved. Administrators and other responding staff must be trained in how to address behavioral concerns safely and respectfully. I would advocate to provide more resources to schools to prevent behavioral concerns and disruptions, and to manage the dysregulation and communication challenges that often lead to these issues.

Baltimore Sun Media’s voter guide allows candidates to provide their background, policy and platforms on issues, in their own words. Any questions or feedback can be sent to, or read more about the questionnaire process here.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply