WHY I'M RUNNING

 

I'm passionate, qualified and ready to make a difference. I’ve spent thousands of hours over a decade working to support and empower students and families all across Montgomery County to speak to the issues they care about. I deeply believe that everyone in our school communities – families, students, teachers, staff – know things about our schools and how we’re serving students that others don’t. Constructively and substantively ensuring that all voices are at the table is essential for MCPS to make the best possible decisions.

WHAT MOTIVATES ME

STUDENTS! I am a believer in the transformative power of public education. Educating the next generation is how we pay it forward to make sure we continue to evolve and do better as a society.  Seeing the power and passion of our students speaking substantively to the issues affecting their future gives me hope.  MCPS should celebrate the enormously talented students coming through our school system.  I teach in the Academy of Health Sciences at Thomas Edison High School of Technology. My class has included students from 22 of MCPS’ 25 high schools. Our students are smart and engaged. You give them an issue impacting students and they can brainstorm a savvy, relevant and effective solution in 15 minutes.  Acknowledging and incorporating the wisdom of our students in the work of our schools is the best way forward.

WHAT I BELIEVE IN

Respect, common sense and civility - let's start and always end right there. As President of MCCPTA, working with MCPS and a wide array of other agencies,  my priority was ensuring that we always worked together as thoughtful, constructive, reliable partners. I also believe in "building the bench," encouraging a diverse group of people to share their time, talent and expertise to make our county and our schools better for all of us. I love empowering people to make a difference by giving them the tools they need to speak to the issues they care about.  

HOW I GOT HERE

I grew up in a small town in Kansas. The entire K-12 enrollment of my  school district was smaller than any MCPS high school.  I moved to Montgomery County in 1991 to take my first job out of law school.  Almost 30 years -- and four careers! -- later, I am working with students in the nation's 14th largest school district. I'm continually amazed by the complexity and capability of MCPS and our students, and it all began when, like so many parents, I started volunteering with the PTA  as soon as my son started elementary school.  I saw the power of students, teachers, administrators and staff working together to solve problems and drive change.

MY MCPS ADVOCACY JOURNEY

It all started with the PTA! When my son entered kindergarten at Highland View Elementary School, I began going to PTA meetings. Highland View’s principal at the time, Anne Dardarian, created a great and inclusive culture that made clear that she viewed the PTA not as a nice thing to have, but as an essential part of the life of the school. Pretty quickly the PTA tapped my nursing and public health background to serve as Health and Wellness Coordinator, and I later served as PTA President and ultimately, Membership Co-chair.

 

Serving as a PTA President led me to MCCPTA, where I started learning about, and speaking to, school system issues outside my own school and Cluster.  Two years later, I found my footing as MCCPTA VP of Advocacy, a role that for three years really coalesced all of my skills and experience, and provided a great opportunity for me to pursue my passion. That experience gave me an incredible appreciation for how much value the knowledge and experience of students, families, teachers and school communities adds to the decision-making processes within MCPS.  Each of those groups knows things about our schools and school system that the others don’t, and I am firmly convinced that the BEST decisions are made when all of those uniquely wise voices are heard.

"I love empowering people to make a difference by giving them the tools they need to speak to the issues they care about." 

LYNNE'S EXPERIENCE

Professional Profile

Experienced nurse, attorney, public health professional and public school educator. Accomplished, passionate, energetic and results-driven advocate with proven success in designing, planning, implementing and managing complex and comprehensive public policy, educational and legislative initiatives. Adept at building strategic relationships and partnerships, and creating dynamic coalitions to achieve shared objectives. Extensive experience leading and organizing professional and volunteer organizations in the efficient achievement of multiple simultaneous programs and priorities. Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication, presentation and research skills.  Adept at quickly learning complex and nuanced organizations and issues. Skilled in building and maintaining collaborative relationships. 

  

Key Skills Summary and Highlights

Strategic Planning and Relationship Building 

  • Elected to lead Montgomery County Council of PTAs – a 45,000+ member volunteer organization – at a time of great difficulty. Working with a talented leadership team rejuvenated and scaled up the work MCCPTA, re-established trust with stakeholders and partners in the community and school system, established vibrant new partnerships with numerous organizations, and accomplished major new initiatives – all in less than one year 

  • Designed and implemented comprehensive advocacy strategy for the Montgomery County Council of PTAs – a 45,000+ member volunteer organization

  • Orchestrated strategic relationship building initiative to maximize the impact of MCCPTA and local PTAs with local elected officials to achieve legislative and policy priorities 

  • Mobilized 198 local PTAs in focused-message, issue-specific campaigns directed to elected officials at the state and county level 

  • Raised the organizational profile, and enhanced the public policy impact, of MCCPTA 

  • Engaged community, business and non-profit partners to support, develop and sustain programs and events related to student mental health and wellness, gun safety, school safety and security, early childhood education, diversity, and educational policy. 

 

Organizational and Project Management 

  • As Senior Trial Counsel at the Justice Department, independently handled over 100 cases involving complex medical issues, and more than 50 appellate immigration cases 

  • Managed trial teams, settlement planners, and alternative dispute resolution projects 

  • Developed a standard-setting, comprehensive approach to case management and settlement strategy that is still in current use 

  • As president, successfully led MCCPTA out of a difficult period for the organization, ensuring that all aspects of the organization’s work resumed, and increased and enhanced MCCPTA’s work in many areas of priority for our local PTA organizations 

  • As president of MCCPTA, worked closely with MCPS leadership to enhance communication with, and the engagement of, our 206 school communities 

  • As president of a local PTA, increased leadership capacity, implemented five new programs to support students and staff, and spearheaded fundraising initiative which raised over $30,000 to purchase technology supports for all classrooms 

  • As deputy field organizer in a battleground state, implemented and managed field operations in critical counties for two successful presidential campaigns 

  • As county field coordinator, organized, implemented and evaluated campaign strategy and field operations for successful gubernatorial campaign 

  • As part of international academic research team, managed the Johns Hopkins institutional review process for team research proposals, and managed international field research and survey teams in Pakistan and Yemen 

 

Communication, Teaching and Training 

  • As Medical Science with Clinical Applications instructor, developed curriculum, coordinated clinical experiences with two different clinical sites. During my tenure the course has a 100% pass rate in the certifications central to the course – Maryland CNA licensure, Provider level CPR certification 

  • As legislative director, handled all constituent, legislative and administrative communications of busy and proactive legislative office 

  • Authored over 50 appellate briefs, and argued 8 cases, before various United States Courts of Appeal

 

  • Tried over 40 cases before the United States Court of Federal Claims 

  • Developed and moderated MCCPTA training sessions on effective advocacy, understanding the MCPS capital and operating budgets, running effective meetings, managing difficult personalities, and forming committees that work effectively 

  • As graduate teaching assistant at Johns Hopkins, taught graduate and undergraduate courses in pharmaceuticals management in underserved countries, global health, research ethics, and primary health care. Developed curricula, conducted seminars and lab sessions, advised and mentored students 

 

Employment and Volunteer Experience

Thomas Edison High School of Technology,

Silver Spring, MD 

  • Instructor – Medical Science with Clinical Applications – August 2016-present 

Maryland House of Delegates – District 20 Delegate Tom Hucker 

Legislative Director, January 2014 to December 2014 

Montgomery County Council of PTAs, Rockville, MD 

  • President – April 2017 - January 2020

  • Vice President for Legislation and Advocacy – May 2013 – May 2016 

  • Vice President for Educational Issues – May 2012 – May 2013 

  • Chair, Legislative Committee – May 2011 – May 2016

  • Delegate representing Highland View Elementary School – September 2010 – June 2014 

  • Delegate representing Silver Spring International Middle School – June 2014 – June 2017 

 

Silver Spring International Middle School PTSA,

Silver Spring, MD 

  • President – May 2016-May 2017 

  • Parent representative on the SSIMS Instructional Leadership Team – August 2014-June 2017 

 

Highland View Elementary School PTA, Silver Spring, MD 

  • Membership chairman – June 2012- June 2014 

  • President – May 2010 – June 2012 

  • Health and Wellness Coordinator – August 2008 – May 2010 

 

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, International Health Department, Baltimore, MD 

Grant Coordinator - Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperative Program 

January 2007 – May 2010 

Teaching Assistantships (numerous) at both the graduate and undergraduate level

January 2005-May 2010 

United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Torts Branch, Office of Vaccine Litigation Washington, DC   

Senior Trial Counsel, September 1992 – August 2005 

United States Department of Commerce, Silver Spring, MD 

Attorney Advisor – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, February 1991 – September 1992 

Political Campaign Experience 

  • Obama for America – Fairfax County, Virginia Field Organizer, Fall 2008, Fall 2012 

  • O’Malley-Brown campaign – Montgomery County Field Coordinator, September – November 2010 

Appointments, Boards and Commissions

 

  • MCCPTA Board of Directors – July 2011 – January 2020

  • Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth – November 2016 - present 

  • Maryland PTA Board of Directors – April 2017 – July 2019

  • Big Learning Board of Directors - August 2017- present 

  • Communities United Against Hate Board of Directors –October 2017 – present 

Education

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 

Master of Health Science in International Health, May 2010 

Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, St. Louis, MO 

Juris Doctor, May 1990 

University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, May 1986 

 

Professional Licensure

Bar Admission 

2003

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit 

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit 

 

1997

  • United States Court of Federal Claims 

 

1990

  • State Bar of Illinois 

 

Nursing Licensure 

  • 1986 Oklahoma Board of Nursing  

  • 1987 Missouri Board of Nursing 

  • 1991 Maryland Board of Nursing 

  • 1993 Virginia Board of Nursing 

  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing 

Lynne Harris

- FOR BOARD OF EDUCATION -

© 2020  By authority of Friends of Lynne Harris, Oriole Saah, Treasurer. Proudly created with Wix.com