Former MoCo school board member dies
Stephen Abrams, a colorful politician whose candid and occasionally blunt observations made for lively Montgomery County school board meetings over the past two decades, has died.
Abrams, 67, died Sunday of a brain tumor, according to his family.
There were few more memorable politicians in the Washington suburbs. Abrams, a lawyer by training, delighted in rhetorical duels from the dais. He feuded publicly with some fellow school board members, spawning moments of spectacle on the otherwise collegial panel.
In 2006, he and a fellow Republican had a highly publicized confrontation in a stairwell. This fed his reputation in local government for a sharp tongue.
A native of Philadelphia, Abrams received a business degree at the University of Pennsylvania, a masters degree in business from American University and a law degree at the University of Baltimore, where he led the moot court team to the national finals.
He served throughout the 1980s on the Rockville City Council, then jumped to the school board, where he served three disjointed terms, from 1992 to 1996, from 1998 to 2002 and from 2004 to 2008. It was a testament both to his mercurial style and to the endurance of his ideas.
Abrams was a tireless champion of Montgomery schools said Superintendent Jerry Weast. He had been on the board that hired Weast and was convinced that only he was canny enough to hold together the rich-poor, East-West factions that define Montgomery County. Abrams himself represented Rockville and Potomac.
In a 2008 interview, Abrams said of Weast, “I personally believe the system is a lot better off under Jerry Weast than it would have been under any other person.”
--Daniel de Vise
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