Board Member Transitions; Officers Elected


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At the December meeting, the Board conducted their annual re-organization of the board with the following results:

  • James Newcomb, Jr. elected President
  • Donna L. DiGiacomo elected Vice President
  • William Sandy McAllister reappointed as Board Attorney

Outgoing Board Members Thanked

At the November and December Board of Education meetings, Dr. Patty Saelens presented outgoing board members George Abner, Louise Cheek, and Tolbert Rowe with an appreciation gift from CCPS and proclamations from the Caroline County Commissioners. She thanked all of them for their years of service to students and to the school system, and fellow board members also shared their appreciation for their colleagues’ time on the board.

  • Mr. Abner served on the Board for 11 years. He was appointed to the Board in 2009, and was subsequently re-appointed for a six-year term in 2012.
  • Ms. Cheek served on the Board for eight years. She was first elected from District 1 in 2012, and was re-elected in 2016.
  • Mr. Rowe served on the Board for 18 years. He was first appointed to the Board in November 1999 and served two five-year terms, ending in 2009. In 2012, he was elected to the Board from District 2, and re-elected in November of 2016. 


New Members Welcomed to the Board

At the December Board of Education Meeting, new members Richard (Rick) Barton and Donna L. DiGiacomo were sworn in by Caroline Clerk of the Court Terry Lord and welcomed by fellow board members Kathy Dill and James Newcomb, and Dr. Saelens.


Richard (Rick) Barton is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc. (ICISF), which is an educational foundation that serves the mission of improving the lives of people who face the stress of critical incidents.

Mr. Barton served as the Superintendent of the Maryland Park Service for 17 years, directing a workforce that included several hundred first responders. He attained the rank of colonel before his retirement in 2007. The Maryland State Police provided his initial law enforcement training that began his 30-year public safety career.

After completing his State service, Mr. Barton served three years as the Caroline County Administrator and has since assisted several non-profit organizations and government agencies desiring progressive management change.

Mr. Barton volunteers extensively with several nonprofits including the YMCA, Trail Conservancy, Friends of Maryland State Parks and Special Olympics Maryland. He also has published dozens of nonfiction articles and is an author of fiction short stories.

Mr. Barton holds a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.S. in Natural Resources Management. He has two sons and two step-daughters, and he and his wife reside in Denton.


Donna L. DiGiacomo

Donna L. DiGiacomo retired from Caroline County Public Schools in 2020, having taught for five years at Lockerman Middle School and 16 years at North Caroline High School. She taught various English classes, English as a Second Language, Contemporary Issues, and U.S. History. Mrs. DiGiacomo often served as class advisor and as an advisor for a multitude of other clubs and activities.

Mrs. DiGiacomo served as an active duty sailor for ten years, rising to the rank of Petty Officer First Class. She is a recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

Mrs. DiGiacomo is very active in the community as the Leo Club Liaison and a member of the Ridgely Lions Club. She also volunteers at a local food pantry and at the Caroline County Humane Society.

While serving in the U.S. Navy, Mrs. DiGiacomo received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland. She obtained her teaching certification from the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, and her Master’s Degree from Salisbury University.

Mrs. DiGiacomo was born in New Jersey and has resided on the Eastern Shore for the past 31 years. She currently lives in Henderson with her spouse.


Contact:   Sandi Barry, Public Relations Coordinator

204 Franklin Street, Denton, Maryland

410.479.1460  |  [email protected]