My name is Bonnie Cullison, and I am running as a Democrat for the House of Delegates in Maryland's 19th legislative district. I'm running for office because I know that this election will help to determine the quality of life for our residents for years to come. I am committed to public service and to the welfare of our neighbors in communities all the way from Silver Spring to Laytonsville to Leisure World.
I grew up as the oldest daughter of Charles and Eleanor Cullison in St. Mary's County, Maryland. My father was a career military man, which gave me the opportunity to experience the richness of diverse cultures as my family moved many times across the country. I received a Master's degree in speech pathology from the University of Maryland in 1978 and began my career in public education in St. Mary's County. In 1981, I moved to Montgomery County and began working in the public schools as a special education teacher. Teaching was professionally rewarding and fulfilling for me, but I also came to see that in order to make positive change, one must be willing to step into leadership roles.
Between 1983 and 2009 I served in various elected positions in the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), representing 11,000 teachers. During my tenure as president of MCEA, I helped to establish strong collaborative relationships with school system leaders by jointly developing programs to narrow the minority achievement gap, improve student learning, and maintain the highest standards for teacher quality.
While leading MCEA, I also participated as a member of a county-wide coalition of business, labor and non-profit organizations - the Committee for Montgomery - where I served as Chair from 2006 to 2007. While on the Committee for Montgomery, I advocated strongly on a wide range of issues addressed by the state legislature. I testified on a host of proposed bills, including labor laws, state and local budgets, tax policies, energy conservation and education.
I am currently retired from the Montgomery County Public Schools and now work for the National Education Association Foundation, on a grant-funded project, where union and school system leaders work together to develop collaborative practices for the benefit of students.
I firmly believe that my public service and knowledge of the issues have prepared me to serve as your Delegate. I have the passion to get the job done and the experience to get it done right. With your support, we can act now to achieve real results on our shared priorities.