Wicomico County Board of Education in August 2022


  • Board Chair Gene Malone

    N. Eugene "Gene" Malone Jr. was appointed by the Governor to the Wicomico County Board of Education in 2016 and elected to serve a four-year term in December 2018. He was elected as Vice President in 2017 and Vice Chairman in 2018 and 2019, and as Board Chairman in 2020 and 2021.

    Mr. Malone is a Commercial Loan Officer with First Shore Federal Savings and Loan Association. He serves as President of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County, and is 2nd Vice President of the Salisbury University Maroon and Gold Club.

    His community activities include:  

    • President of the Salisbury Jaycees 1983-1984 with Life Member status awarded in 1989
    • Regional Director for the Maryland Jaycees 1985-1986
    • Salisbury Rotary Club Treasurer (1994-1995) and Special Events Committee Chair (1992-1993)
    • President of the Wicomico County Soccer Federation 1998-2000
    • Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Soccer League 2008-2009
    • President of West Salisbury Little League 1996-1999
    • Coach and referee for youth soccer
    • Coach for youth baseball, including Salvation Army Boys Baseball, and the West Salisbury Little League 11/12 All-Star team that was the 2003 Maryland State Champion and reached the final four at Regionals in Bristol, Conn. 

    Mr. Malone is a 1975 graduate of Wicomico High School, where he was a starter in tennis and soccer all three years, and was captain and MVP of both teams as a senior. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Salisbury State College in 1978, lettering in tennis and being named All-Conference in 1978. In 1979 he began working for 1st National Bank of Maryland – later Allfirst Bank and now M&T Bank – where he retired from in 2017. 

    He is married to the former Donna Cappello, also a Wicomico High graduate. Their children also attended Wicomico County Public Schools: Scott (2001 Parkside High graduate), Nick (2005 James M. Bennett High grad and 2009 Salisbury University graduate), and Thomas (2009 JMB grad and 2013 University of Maryland College Park graduate). Mr. Malone served as President of the James M. Bennett High PTA 2007-2009. Mr. Malone and his wife have two very young grandsons who are not yet old enough to attend school. He is an avid high school sports and youth sports fan.

    Email - gmalone@wcboe.org


    Michael Murray

    Michael G. Murray was appointed to the Board of Education in August 2017 by the Wicomico County Council and elected to serve a four-year term in December 2018. He was elected as Board Vice Chairman in 2020 and 2021.

    Mr. Murray is a 1976 graduate of Wicomico High School. During his high school and undergraduate years, he volunteered through Youth ARC, working with students at the Holly Center. He received his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn. In 1980. He then returned to the Shore where he began teaching at Delmar Junior-Senior High School, and went on to a 35-year in public education in Delaware as a classroom teacher, department head, vice principal and principal. He earned a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management and School Leadership and Business Administration from Wilmington College. Following his retirement, he has spent several years as a substitute teacher for Wicomico County Public Schools.

    His community activities include serving as a board member and Christmas Parade chairman for the Salisbury Jaycees, regional director of the Delmarva Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Club International (which has connected with students and instructors in the Parkside High Department of Career & Technology Education Auto Tech program), past Commander of the Salisbury Power Squadron, board member of the Wicomico Yacht Club, chairman of the Salisbury Marina Commission, and teacher at the Wicomico Teen-Adult Center (now Dove Pointe).

    Mr. Murray’s mother, Elizabeth H. Murray, retired from WCPS after serving 39 years as an English and History teacher at Wicomico High, and moving to Bennett Junior High when they opened in 1966 as a guidance counselor. Mr. Murray has lived in Wicomico County his entire life, currently residing in Salisbury.

    Email - mmurray@wcboe.org


    Board PResident Don Fitzgerald

    Donald L. Fitzgerald was appointed to the Wicomico County Board of Education in 2009, reappointed by the governor to a second five-year term beginning July 2014, and elected to serve a four-year term in December 2018. Mr. Fitzgerald served as Board Vice President for two years, was elected as President in July 2015, 2016, and 2017, and as Chairman in 2018 and 2019. 

    He is a Vietnam veteran, drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966, and served with the 227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry in Vietnam. In 1967, he served as Platoon Sergeant for the Signal Corps at Fort Knox, Kentucky and in 1968, he was honorably discharged.

    In 1965, Mr. Fitzgerald was employed by E. I. DuPont where he worked as a service operator and mechanic. From 2000 to 2002, he served as president of SNEC, an independent worker’s union, retiring from DuPont as a mechanic in 2002. 

    He is a 1964 graduate of Wicomico High School and a member of Grace United Methodist Church. His community memberships include the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #194 (life member), the Moose Lodge #654, Salisbury Elks Lodge #817, Princess Anne’s American Legion Post #94, Wicomico County War Memorial Committee, the Optimist Club of Salisbury (life member), and a life member of the Tony Tank Tribe #149 Improved Order of Redmen. He also coaches girls’ varsity softball and is a member of the Wicomico County Softball Federation. Mr. Fitzgerald is a resident of Salisbury.

    Email - dfitzger@wcboe.org


        Allen Brown

    Allen C. Brown, Sr. was appointed to the Board of Education in August 2017 by the Wicomico County Council and elected to serve a four-year term in December 2018.

    After 40 years of service to Wicomico County Public Schools, Mr. Brown retired as Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. He was a teacher, vice principal, pupil personnel worker, and Director of Student Services prior to his last position. Born, reared and educated in Wicomico County, he graduated from Salisbury High School in 1964. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bowie State University in 1968, and a Master’s in Education degree from Salisbury State College in 1987.

    Mr. Brown serves on the Personnel Board for Wicomico County, and is a member of the Wicomico County Recreation Commission and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He serves on the board of directors for the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Salisbury Urban Ministries, Hazel Farm Property Foundation, the John B. Parsons Home and the Donnie Williams Foundation. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Salisbury and the Pine Bluff Village Advisory Board; a past member of the board of directors of the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, Coastal Hospice and Pine Bluff Village; and a past member of the Wellness Community and the Wor-Wic Community College Advisory Board. Mr. Brown is a member of the Maryland State Department of Education Pupil Services Association, Phi Delta Kappa and the Wicomico Retired Educational Personnel. He is a life member of the Salisbury High School Association. Mr. Brown is affiliated with St. James Church in Head-of-the-Creek.

    He received the 2006 AIMMS Excellence for Minority Achievement Award, which celebrates individuals or groups making outstanding contributions in striving to promote equity in educational opportunity for all students, and in 2007 was honored with the NAACP Outstanding Service to Wicomico County Students award. He was awarded Rotarian of the Year in 2018-2019 and received the WMDT/Mountaire Better Delmarva Award in 2019.

    Mr. Brown resides in Salisbury. His wife, Julia, a retired administrator from Wicomico County Public Schools, is deceased. His son, J.R. Brown (Allen C. Brown Jr.) and his wife, Melanie, live in Tennessee with their two sons, Zachary and Nathan.

    Email - abrown@wcboe.org


         John Palmer

    John Palmer was appointed to the Board of Education in June 2015 by Governor Larry Hogan, reappointed for a second term and elected to serve a four-year term in December 2018.

    Mr. Palmer graduated from Northeast Senior High School in Pasadena, Maryland in 1967 and immediately began a 21-year career in the U.S. Navy, advancing rapidly through the ranks and becoming the youngest Master Chief in the Navy. He spent his two shore duty assignments at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, coordinating classes between civilian and military instruction, teaching Mechanical/Systems Engineering and Applied Thermodynamics, and attending classes in some of the best professional schools in the country.

    In 1988-1999 he applied his skills in the private sector, working for Jarman Refrigeration, a firm specializing in the design and installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems. Mr. Palmer recently retired from the University System of Maryland at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, where he was the Facility Supervisor for the campus physical plant of close to 2 million square feet (about the same square footage as the school system) and a team of 132 personnel in all trades. He was the campus HVAC/Mechanical Supervisor.

    He brings to the Board table his expertise from all of these experiences. Mr. Palmer is a member of the Wicomico County Republican Club and is serving his second term as an elected member of the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee.

    Email - jpalmer@wcboe.org


          Tonya Laird Lewis

    Tonya Laird Lewis was appointed to the Wicomico County Board of Education by the Wicomico County Council and was sworn in on June 18, 2019. She was elected in November 2020 to serve a two-year term. She holds the District 3 seat.

    Mrs. Lewis is actively engaged in Wicomico County Public Schools as a parent, and she is active in the community. She has taught in Maryland and Delaware in both public and private school classrooms. In 2006-2008, she taught Physical Science and Biology in the Seaford School District, Chemistry and Biology at Holly Grove Christian School, and Physical Science at Bennett Middle School. She was also a substitute teacher in Wicomico County Public Schools, from 2016-2019. Mrs. Lewis served as a school representative to the Parent Advisory Committee from 2012-2019 and has served on the PTA Executive Board at Willards Elementary and Pittsville Elementary and Middle School.

    She graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She played softball for UMES during her years there, building on her softball and soccer experience from high school. She is co-owner and operator of the family business, Lewis HVAC Services.

    Mrs. Lewis is currently a member of the Wicomico County Eastside Chamber of Commerce. She has completed multiple trainings through The Winning Minds Group with Mr. Matt De La Cruz and has completed all the requirements to be a Notary Public. She has also completed numerous Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) seminars and training programs including sessions on the open meetings act, equity, and board relationships.

    Mrs. Lewis’ husband, Gary Lewis Jr., is a graduate of Parkside High School and its Department of Career & Technical Education. Their two children attend Wicomico County Public Schools. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and making new memories.

    Email - tlewis@wcboe.org


        Ann Suthowski   

    Ann B. Suthowski was elected to the Wicomico County Board of Education in November 2018 by voters in District 4, and began serving a four-year term in December 2018. Born and raised in Wicomico County, she attended Pinehurst and Pemberton elementary schools and was a member of the first class to graduate from the current location of Wicomico Senior High School. She received an associate’s degree from St. Mary’s Junior College, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Salisbury University. She pursued doctoral studies with the University of Maryland College Park.

    For 31 years she worked for the Laurel School District, including 10 years as a reading, English and journalism teacher and 21 years as a secondary reading specialist. As a specialist, she gave presentations around the country on adolescent literature and secondary reading methods. She taught secondary reading methods for the State of Delaware and Salisbury University.

    Mrs. Suthowski is active in the community. She served for 16 years on the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee, and for 12 years on the Wicomico County Board of Appeals for zoning and code decisions. She was named Outstanding Women Leader in Wicomico County by the Commission on Women and the Business and Professional Women’s Club. She has served as President for the Sussex County Organization for Reading Excellence, the Theta Chapter of ADK, American Association of University Women, Town and Country Garden Club, and the Institute for Retired Persons at Salisbury University. She is active in Bethesda United Methodist Church and has served as president of the United Methodist Women and as a member of the Finance Committee and Church Council.

    Email - asuthowsk@wcboe.org