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NASBE Honors Charlene Necessary for Her Service to the Maryland State Board of Education

Alexandria, Va.—The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is pleased to present its David A. Kysilko Award to Charlene Necessary for her dedicated service to the Maryland State Board of Education as its administrator and regulations coordinator over the last 15 years and for her prior service to the Office of the Attorney General.

Necessary directly supports the Maryland state board’s executive director, president, vice president, and other members in their statutory governance and administrative responsibilities and ensures efficient day-to-day operations of the Office of the State Board. She organizes, monitors, and sets deadlines for the submission of informational materials to the state board and serves as a liaison for the state board and state’s department of education, responding to requests for assistance and information from the governor’s office, members of local boards of education and their staff, local superintendents of schools and their staff, and the public.

“She does so with a respectful and professionally adept hand,” said Lori Morrow, who nominated Necessary for the award and was the state board’s parent member from 2020 to 2023. “You probably would not see Charlene during a board meeting, but she’s the one who ensures it runs smoothly and everyone has what they need.”

Necessary’s career of public service has spanned significant changes on the state board and in Maryland’s state school system overall, including the hiring of state superintendents, a pandemic, the passage of landmark state legislation that changed the face of education in Maryland, strategic planning, and changes in state board membership.

“Through these demanding and uncertain times, Charlene remains unflappable and calmly goes about her work in service of the board,” said Maryland State Board President Clarence Crawford.  “Her institutional knowledge is vital to the ongoing functioning of the board, and she has and will continue to be the cornerstone of its operation.”

“Charlene’s service to the Maryland state board is almost entirely behind the scenes, but recognizing it should not be,” said Paolo DeMaria, NASBE president and CEO. “NASBE proudly recognizes her contributions and commitment to the Maryland State Board of Education and their work to ensure equity and excellence for all students.”

The 2023 David A. Kysilko Award will be presented during NASBE’s annual conference in San Diego, California, October 25–28, 2023. The recognition is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to NASBE values and service to state boards of education. The award is named after David Kysilko, a longtime NASBE employee who retired in 2014.

NASBE serves as the only membership organization for state boards of education. A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, NASBE elevates state board members’ voices in national and state policymaking, facilitates the exchange of informed ideas, and supports members in advancing equity and excellence in public education for students of all races, genders, and circumstances. Learn more at


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