Paul Edwards to Speak at Garrett College Commencement

McHenry, MD – Paul Edwards, chair of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners, will serve as commencement speaker for Garrett College’s 45th annual graduation ceremony next month.

Garrett’s commencement will take place on Saturday, May 20th starting at 10:30 a.m. at the   Community Aquatic & Recreation Center (CARC) Gymnasium on the McHenry campus.  That is the same facility that hosts both Garrett County public high school graduations each spring.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Commissioner Edwards has agreed to speak with this year’s graduates,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, who became Garrett College’s 13th president in January.  “Paul’s background and experience allow him to offer a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges our latest group of graduates will face.”

In addition to nearly two decades in elective office, Edwards has made a career in public education.  He is currently director of middle and high schools, athletics and career and technology education for Garrett County Public Schools.

Edwards, a member of Northern Garrett High School’s Class of 1993, graduated with honors from Frostburg State University in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Science.  He also earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from FSU in 2005.

“I was blessed to have two great professors in college – one in history and one in political science – that really broadened my interest in those subjects and also served as my models for my teaching style,” said Edwards.  “Dr. Hagan (history) and Dr. [Stephen] Hartlaub (Political Science) at FSU both had a large influence on me in college.”

Edwards taught social studies and coached a wide variety of sports at Northern High for 10 years before moving into administration as Northern High’s assistant principal.  He was head boys’ basketball coach for nine years, finishing second on the career coaching wins list in that sport, and guided the girls’ track team for a four-year period that produced 10 individual region championships.

Edwards also spent four years on the Northern High football coaching staff, including the team’s undefeated regular season and region championship campaign in 2000.

“I began coaching basketball right out of high school and really enjoyed working with kids,” said Edwards.  “I also really enjoyed history, so I thought it was a good match that I could teach history and coach sports.”

Edwards served from 1999 to 2005 on the Grantsville Town Council before winning the 2005 mayoral election to become Grantsville’s youngest-ever mayor at 29.

“My dad [State Senator George Edwards] is my role model and I grew up in a political family,” said Edwards.  “I’ve always had an interest in that world since I was a little kid because I grew up in it.”

During his tenure as mayor, Grantsville was the fastest-growing community in the county.  Grantsville also became the county’s first Arts and Entertainment District.

Edwards served as a director for Garrett County Municipalities, Inc. throughout his tenure as mayor.  He also served as president of the Garrett/Allegany chapter of the Maryland Municipal League from 2013 to 2014.

After 10 years as mayor, Edwards was elected to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners in 2014, serving as chair of the commission since his election.

Edwards has been active in numerous local, regional and statewide organizations.  He served on the Governor’s Task Force to Study a Post Labor Day School Start as well as on the board of directors for Garrett/Allegany United Way, Mountain Laurel Medical Center, and the Western Maryland Consortium.

Edwards is also an ex-officio member of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and an active member of the Grantsville Lion’s Club, Sons of the American Legion Post 214, and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. 

Edwards and his wife, Emily, reside in Grantsville and have two daughters, Samantha and Emma.  They are expecting a daughter, Stella, in June.
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