Growing up, my mom was an elementary education teacher, along with several members of my extended family. I was surrounded by teachers and educators who highly valued education and were dedicated to making a difference inside the classroom, and out. I was fortunate to grow up in an area with well-resourced schools, with highly committed teachers.
Upon graduation from Kalamazoo College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I understood very little of my own career path. I volunteered with a number of schools during my undergraduate education, working in a bi-lingual English/Spanish classroom and mentoring a 5th grade student who was struggling in her school and her community. I knew I wanted to work with students – but I wasn’t sure I possessed the characteristics it took to manage large class sizes and meet the varied needs of 30+ students in a classroom. I wanted the opportunity to work individually with students and to connect more deeply with their families and communities. I accepted an AmeriCorps position with The Choice Program of UMBC in Montgomery County, Maryland working with youth involved in the juvenile justice and social services system. Helping them to navigate complex systems, including building their capacity to advocate for their own educational needs, helped to shape my desire to partner with school districts to ensure access for all students to resources, programs, and caring adults who will contribute to an environment where they can thrive.
I currently serve as a Program Director for the Center for Supportive Schools in Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, DC. As Program Director, I collaborate with schools and school districts in the region to help build school environments that are safe, supportive, engaging, and inspiring places where all students find opportunities to build leadership skills, learn, and grow. Prior to joining the Center for Supportive Schools, I spent 14 years working to find and implement solutions to youth disengagement from school, while promoting policies and practices that work to ensure all students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally in their schools and in their communities. A strong commitment to ensuring our public education system continues to successfully meet the diverse needs of Frederick County students, parents, business leaders, educators, and residents is the core to every decision I make as a member of the Board of Education.
In my free time, I enjoy volunteering with Girls on the Run of Western Maryland on their 5K race committee and serve on the Western Maryland Advisory Council to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. My husband Brandon, a classroom educator for over 12 years, and I moved to Frederick County in 2005. Here, we planted our family roots and enjoy all that Frederick County offers – from the annual Frederick Running Festival to strolls through Baker Park to visiting and supporting our local farms. We are proud parents of two kind, generous, energetic daughters – one who attends 1st grade in FCPS and another who will enter kindergarten next year. My family is at the heart of all I do and I am proud to serve on the Board of Education to ensure that my children, our children, and all children in our county receive the best education that we can possibly provide them.
County Executive Announces Rae Gallagher to BOE
By authority of Friends of Rae Gallagher, Collin Brown, Treasurer