When Caroline County educator Donna DiGiacomo decided to run for her local board of education, it was because she was fed up. “I’m from Jersey,” she said, “and I thought I need to do something about this or just shut up. And I’m not gonna shut up.” Starting December 1, she’ll be fighting for respect for both educators and students: “What’s best for students and what’s best for educators is not mutually exclusive.”
DiGiacomo was one of seven educators across the state running for their local board of education. In Caroline County, she’s the first person from the frontline teaching ranks to be elected to the board. She’s a strong advocate for the kind of education that serves all students. “Does every student need to study Beowolf? Maybe some need to learn to read a manual,” the career English teacher said.
“I’m impressed and grateful that MSEA cares so much about small counties like Caroline. When our local association president Amy Anderson called in August to offer union support, she said ‘We love what you stand for and we know you will always fight to make things fair. We know you won’t be intimidated.’”
With support from MSEA and a growing local GO Team, MSEA’s initiative that helps build local organizing efforts (to fight for pro-public education candidates, better funding, and more), DiGiacomo won by nearly 500 votes in the small county. The GO Team members phonebanked and wrote over 500 letters to fellow county voters.
“Amy was right, if I agreed with what was going on in our schools, I would still be in the classroom doing what I love. But like I told my students, I’m doing this because I love you so much.”