Board of Education

The Caroline County Board of Education provides leadership and oversight for the Caroline County Public Schools by setting goals, establishing policies, and committing resources to benefit our students. The Board is comprised of three elected members (one from each district), two members appointed by the governor, and two non-voting student members (one from each high school). Each member serves for a term of four years beginning on the first Monday in December. Student members serve for a term of one year. The superintendent of schools serves as secretary-treasurer of the Board.

The Board generally meets the first Tuesday of every month. They also hold a work session every third Tuesday of the month. Closed Sessions are scheduled to discuss personnel matters, acquisition of property, and collective bargaining; to obtain legal advice; and to address other matters in accordance with Maryland Article 810-508.

Regarding Public Comment: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  attendance at meetings is restricted. To ensure the opportunity for public input, the Board will accept written public comment via email sent to [email protected]. Emails must be received no later than noon on the day of the Board meeting, and must clearly state in the subject line or body of the email “For Public Comment.” Emails will be provided to Board members prior to the start of the meeting, and the content will be included in the Board minutes that follow the meeting.


Board Members

Photo of Kathy Dill

Mrs. Kathy S. Dill, President

Appointed, Term ends 2020 | [email protected]


Kathy Dill was appointed to a four-year term on the board of education in 2016. She has a BS degree from Salisbury University and a Masters in Administration from Salisbury.

Ms. Dill taught pre-school at Denton Child Development Center for eight years. She then taught at both the elementary and secondary level in Caroline and Talbot County Public Schools, and held administrative positions in Talbot. She retired after 28 years in education.

Ms. Dill is a member of the Maryland Council on Economic Education Board of Directors and currently serves on the Maryland State Department of Education Fine Arts Advisory Board.

Ms. Dill and her children are all graduates of North Caroline High School. She currently resides in Denton with her husband.

Photo of Tolbert Rowe

Mr. C. Tolbert Rowe, Vice President

Elected, Term ends 2020  | [email protected]


C. Tolbert Rowe was first appointed to Board in November 1999 and subsequently served the limit of two five-year terms. He was then elected to the first elected/hybrid board in 2012 and re-elected to a four-year term in 2016.

Mr. Rowe is a graduate of the University of Baltimore with a BA in Government and Public Administration. He is the vice president and senior loan officer for Bay Capital Mortgage in Easton.

Mr. Rowe is involved in several organizations including the Channel Marker Foundation, St. Benedict’s/St Elizabeth’s Church, Caroline YMCA Advisory Board, the Upper Shore Special Olympics, and the Mid Shore Challengers. He is also active in several Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) committees, and serves as president of the association for the 2018-2019 year.

Mr. Rowe and his daughters, Kelsey and Allison, are all graduates of North Caroline High School. He and his wife Jeanne reside in Greensboro.

Photo of George Abner

Mr. George J. Abner, Member

Appointed, Term ends 2022  | [email protected]


George J. Abner was appointed to a four-year term on the school board in 2009. He was subsequently reappointed for a six-year term in 2012. Mr. Abner applied for re-appointment in 2018, and was granted another term by Governor Hogan in June of 2020.

Mr. Abner graduated from Colonel Richardson High School. For the past 20 years, he has worked for Warrens Woodworks in Easton, MD, as an accounts manager.

Prior to becoming a board member, Mr. Abner served in various leadership positions with the Preston and Colonel Middle Parent-Teacher Associations and with the Caroline County Council of PTAs. He also served on several school system committees. Currently, Mr. Abner is a member of the YMCA Advisory Board.

Mr. Abner has two sons who are both graduates of Colonel Richardson High School. He currently resides in Federalsburg.

Photo of Louise Cheek

Mrs. Louise M. Cheek, Member

Elected, Term ends 2020  | [email protected]


Louise Cheek was elected to the school board in 2012 and subsequently re-elected in 2016.

Ms. Cheek has a BA in Education, History, Social Sciences and Psychology from Salisbury University and an MEd from Salisbury University. She was a teacher and administrator for 27 years in Caroline County Schools, and retired after a total of 31 years in education.

Ms. Cheek is currently the coordinator of Community Services for the Queen Anne's County Health Department. Her two children, Robert and Sarah, are graduates of Caroline County Public Schools. Ms. Cheek resides in Greensboro with her husband Denzil.

Photo of James "Jim" Newcomb

Mr. James A. Newcomb, Jr., Member

Elected, Term ends 2022  | [email protected]


James A. Newcomb, Jr. (Jim) was first appointed to a five-year term on the school board in 2006. In 2012, he ran for and was elected to a six-year term on Caroline’s first elected/appointed hybrid school board. He was re-elected in 2018.

Mr. Newcomb has a B.S. in Geography. He worked with the agricultural community for 24 years relating to Soil & Water Conservation Districts, and for the last six years, he has been employed with MidAtlantic Farm Credit in Denton.

Both Jim and his wife graduated from Colonel Richardson High School and have been actively involved in ensuring all children in in Caroline receive the best education possible.

Jim lives outside of Federalsburg with his wife Karen and their two children, Davis and Caroline, who both currently attend Caroline County Public Schools.


headshot of Superintendent Dr. Patricia Saelens

Dr. Patricia W. Saelens, Superintendent of Schools

[email protected]

Dr. Patricia Saelens began her tenure as superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools on July 1, 2017.

A native of Talbot County, Dr. Saelens began her teaching career in Dorchester County Public Schools in 1992 where she served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and coordinator.

In 2006, she came to Caroline as the coordinator of instruction. In the years that followed, she was the assistant principal at North Caroline High School, the supervisor of assessment and accountability, and the assistant superintendent of instruction.

After serving briefly as interim superintendent, the school board unanimously appointed Dr. Saelens to a four-year contract as superintendent of schools.

A graduate of Salisbury University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s in Administration/Supervision, Dr. Saelens received her doctorate in Leadership and Innovation from Wilmington University.


As the proud Superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our website. I hope you will find it a valuable source of information and resources.

At CCPS, we value 21st Century learning. The Essentials for Learning movement, begun in 2017, improves the way students are learning in the classroom. From pre-kindergarten through graduation, we are teaching rigorous academic standards in ways that incorporate the skills students need to be successful in the classroom and in the workplace.

We are blessed in Caroline to have a highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff who believe in the amazing potential of over 5,800 students. We value the partnerships we have with our elected officials, law enforcement, and community agencies that work with us in the best interest of our students. Most of all, we are fortunate to have families that are supportive of our schools, and a high level of engagement from community and business partners.

With this foundation firmly in place, we ensure that our students have every opportunity to reach their goals, at school and into the future.

My best to you -

Dr. Patricia W. Saelens
Superintendent of Schools