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Board President Named One of the “Most Powerful Women”

November 3, 2015

Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill has been named one of the 100 most powerful women by Washingtonian magazine, joining other regional and national leaders on the prestigious list. Mrs. O’Neill and others on the list will be honored at a luncheon on November 18, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

“I am surprised and honored to be recognized by Washingtonian magazine and be included on such a prestigious list of accomplished people who have made a significant impact on our region and our nation,” said Mrs. O’Neill. “It is a privilege to serve this community and advocate for the outstanding students, staff, and families of Montgomery County Public Schools.”

The 100 Most Powerful Women list—a part of the November issue of Washingtonian—includes honorees in several categories, including local, national, and international political leaders and those who serve in leadership positions in business, education, law, the arts, media, medicine, and religion. Among the national leaders on the list are First Lady Michelle Obama; U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor; Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren; and Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve.

Mrs. O’Neill is joined on the list by several other educational leaders in the region, including Karen Garza, superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools; Kaya Henderson, chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, DeRionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College; and Charlene Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College.

View the invitation to see the full list

Mrs. O’Neill has been a member of the Montgomery County Board of Education for 17 years, making her the second longest-serving elected member in Board history. She is currently serving as Board president for the fifth time and has also served as Board vice president five times.

Mrs. O’Neill is the past president of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) and past co-chair of the Washington Area Boards of Education. She has served on numerous advisory committees for education-related issues, including the Maryland Blue Ribbon Panel on Teen Pregnancy and the Maryland Comparable HSA Task Force. In 2006, she was named by then-Governor Robert Ehrlich to represent MABE on the Task Force on School Safety. Prior to joining the Board, Mrs. O’Neill was a longtime PTA activist in the Walt Whitman Cluster who served in various volunteer and leadership roles.

Mrs. O’Neill is a graduate of Walter Johnson High School and has a degree in social science from Southern Methodist University. She is married and has two daughters who graduated from MCPS.

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