Prettyman ready to serve on school board

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Newly appointed board member to be sworn in July 18

Submitted: Tiffany Prettyman, here with her husband, Jay Prettyman, and daughters Chloe and Phoebe, will be sworn in at an Ocean City Board of Education meeting in July. Submitted: Tiffany Prettyman, here with her husband, Jay Prettyman, and daughters Chloe and Phoebe, will be sworn in at an Ocean City Board of Education meeting in July.

OCEAN CITY — Having previously served on the Ocean City Board of Education for four years, newly-appointed board member Tiffany Prettyman says she’ll be able to get up to speed pretty quickly when she takes the oath of office at a July 18 board meeting.

Prettyman was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Antwan McClellan, who resigned effective June 30 to serve as the 2nd Ward representative on City Council July 1. She will serve until January and has until Sept. 7 to decide whether she wants to run for re-election.

Prettyman was first appointed to serve on the board in 2006 filling a one-year vacancy created when a former board member retired. She ran for re-election and served a three-year term, opting not to seek re-election when her term ended.

“I missed serving on the board,” said Prettyman, who teaches social studies at Mainland Regional High School. “I learned so much, and that really helped me as a teacher. I understood what was happening at the state level, and why things were done the way they were at Mainland, why decisions had to be made. I learned about things coming down the path, and how they would affect school districts. It’s a valuable learning experience.”

At the same time, she said she was able to offer input from a teacher’s point of view for fellow Ocean City board members.

“My experience helps both ways,” she said. “I was able to see things from both sides.”

Ocean City High School, she noted, begins a new rotating schedule in September, allowing for longer class periods, with each class meeting three out of four days. Students have one hour for lunch, all at the same time. Rather than moving quickly through eight instructional periods of 42 minutes, students will have six, 55-minute classes in one day.

Mainland, she said, has successfully utilized the scheduling plan and she feels her experience will come in handy.

“I’m happy to help,” she said. “Change is tough; it’s very difficult and people are somewhat apprehensive. Now we have a frame of reference, it does work. It’s a good thing. It’s an interesting schedule and very beneficial. I have seen the benefits, for the teachers and the students. I think I can be of help to Ocean City as this unfolds.” 

Prettyman said she was happy for McClellan and opted to throw her hat in the ring for the board seat.

“Antwan is so nice, and he did such a good job serving on the board,” she said. “He’s going to be a very good councilman.”

Prettyman, formerly McCarraher, was born and raised in Merion, Pa. She graduated from Lower Merion High School in 1990 and Cabrini College in 1995. Her family had long vacationed in Ocean City, so when it came time to find a job to help pay for college, she headed to the shore.
“I was hired by Speed and Ski boat rentals, I worked for Tom Gill,” she said. “I always wanted to work there, I was very excited.”

It was there, in 1993, that she met Jay Prettyman, now captain of the Ocean City Police Department. At that time, he, too, was a college student.

The two worked together renting boats to summer visitors.
“I love maps, so I explained the maps when people came in, where the people could go, where the buoys were,” she said. “Jay did all the paperwork.”

It was love at first sight, she said, and the they married in 1996.

“We both loved the shore. Jay wanted to be a police officer, I wanted to be a teacher, so we decided to settle in Ocean City and raise our family here,” she said. 

The couple has two daughters, Phoebe, 13, in eighth grade and Chloe, 10, in fifth grade.

“Being on the board keeps me young,” said Prettyman, who will resume her seat on the policy committee. “I love Ocean City, I enjoy serving the community. Being involved with students all day, being with my own children and serving on the board keeps me young.”

Prettyman said with the current administration, the district is in good hands.

“I really like the superintendent, Dr. (Kathleen) Taylor, I think she does a great job,” she said.

The building principals, Joanne Walls, Geoff Haines and Matt Jamison are also top notch, she said.

“It’s a well-run district. It’s something I’m proud to be involved with,” she said. “We have a great faculty, great students; Ocean City is a wonderful community.”

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