School Board Incumbent Will Face Challenger In Anne Arundel's District 5 Election


Incumbent Dana Schallheim and challenger LaToya Nkongolo are both running for the Anne Arundel County Board of Education in District 5 in the 2024 election. An Anne Arundel County Public Schools sign is shown here. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD - An incumbent on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education will face a challenger in the 2024 election.

Current school board member Dana Schallheim and mental health professional LaToya Nkongolo are both seeking office in District 5.

That district covers parts of Odenton, Gambrills, Millersville, Severna Park and all of the Arnold/Broadneck peninsula. A map of the district is posted here

Schallheim filed for re-election on April 10. Nkongolo followed on Aug. 28, the Maryland State Board of Elections said.

Both candidates live in Severna Park and are parents of children in Anne Arundel County Public Schools.


Nkongolo runs a therapy practice and is an adjunct professor in Anne Arundel Community College's human services department. She has also served on several health, substance abuse and citizen advisory committees.

Nkongolo ran as a Republican for the District 31 Maryland House of Delegates seat in 2022, but she lost in the primary.

On the school board, Nkongolo wants to:

  • Prioritize personalized learning and extracurricular activities
  • Promote communication between parents, teachers, students and the board
  • Advocate for fair teacher compensation, professional development opportunities and resources

"I think that I have established myself and I have built a lot of strong relationships where I can pick up the phone and call just about anyone to address any issue," Nkongolo told The Capital. "What they call me in this community is a bridge builder and a gap filler, so when I hear something that needs to be done in this community, I take action, and I've developed programs that reflect that."

Visit for more information on Nkongolo.


Schallheim has been an at-home mom for 12 years. She was previously a consultant focused on renewable and efficient energy. She unseated then-incumbent Terry Gilleland in the tight 2018 election, winning by 4.2 percentage points.

Schallheim's goals include:

  • Offering competitive teacher pay
  • Reducing school overcrowding
  • Quelling bullying and bias
  • Closing discipline, opportunity and achievement gaps
  • Improving mental health resources and considering policies through a mental health lens

Schallheim told The Capital that this will be her second and final race. Even if she wins, she does not plan to seek any other public office in the future.

"My heart is and always has been with the students, the teachers and the staff of Anne Arundel County Public Schools," Schallheim told The Capital in June. "This is where my elected service will begin and end after winning and serving out an entire second term."

Visit to learn more about Schallheim.

Looking Ahead

All seven adult board seats are up for election in 2024. These elections are nonpartisan. Residents can see which district they live in using this tool.

If there are three or more school board candidates in a race, candidates will run in the May 14, 2024 primary election. All candidates will appear on all ballots, regardless of a voters' party or lack thereof. The top two vote-getters would then advance to the Nov. 5, 2024 General Election. 

If there are only one or two candidates in a district, the candidate(s) advance straight to the General Election.

Pasadena newcomers Jamie Hurman-Cougnet and Erica McFarland are the only other candidates to announce their bid for 2024. Both are running in District 3. That seat is currently held by Corine Frank, who has not yet announced if she will run for re-election.

Related2 Pasadena Residents Running For School Board In District 3

The student member on the board serves a 1-year term and is elected by the students annually. The student member has full voting rights that are equal to their adult colleagues.

Learn More

To read Schallheim's interview with The Capital, click here. Nkongolo's is posted at this link. These articles are only available to subscribers of The Capital.

Anybody with an Anne Arundel County Public Library card can read either story by searching the candidates' names at this link.

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