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Judy Thelen, former school board member, passes

May 5th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Former Allegany County Board of Education member, Dr. Judith “Judie” Thelen passed away Sunday at the age of 82.  Thelen was raised in Syracuse, New York and received her BA in History in 1959 from LeMoyne College She was employed as an elementary school teacher in Prince George’s County, a Secondary Reading Specialist in the DC public high schools and Reading Supervisor in Falls Church, Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Education in 970 from Syracuse University and taught literacy courses at Frostburg State University. She established the graduate reading program at FSU and retired from the education department as a full professor in 1997.

Dr. Thelen was very active in the International Reading Association (IRA), the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to promoting literacy worldwide. She went on to achieve national and international recognition for her work in reading and was a consultant to many school districts throughout the United States and for the Department of Defense. She became President of the IRA in 1991. She also organized the Western Maryland Reading Council in the early ‘70s.

Prior to taking early retirement, Dr. Thelen was elected to two terms on the Allegany County Board of Education and became President of that assembly from 1997 until 1999. During that time she served on many Task Forces for the Maryland State Department of Education, the Maryland Association of Boards of Education and for the IRA.

In 1998 Dr. Thelen joined the Cumberland Rotary club and briefly served as Vice President and chair of the Appropriations Committee.

During the 2006 Legislative Session she served as legislative aide to the chair of the Western Maryland Delegation, Del. Robert McGee. In 2007, she was appointed by Governor O’MalIey to serve on the Judicial Appointments Commission.

Judie also served on the Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, the Bowling Green Citizens Committee, and the Carver Community Center Board.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Animal Welfare Society, the Carver Community Center, or children’s books can be donated to the Allegany County Public library in her memory.

The family wishes to thank the medical and support staff at the Cumberland Health Care Center for their competent and compassionate care of Judie for the past three years.

One Response to “Judy Thelen, former school board member, passes”

  1. May 06, 2020 at 7:59 am, Ken said:

    Very honorable and sweet public servant. She was a bright light on the BOE in the time of Truesdale.


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