Boffman shares leadership and communication wisdom with Lancer Media


Emily Lotito

Daryl Boffman talks to journalism about his career as Executive Director of Public Affairs for FCPS.

by Madeline Hull, Editor

Daryl Boffman is not afraid to speak his mind, but he also cautions the public that social media is not the place to rant. He knows this first-hand because social media and FCPS is one area that Boffman spends a lot of time in his job.  This is important to Boffman because he is Executive Director of Public Affairs for Frederick County Public Schools

On Friday December 13, Daryl Boffman spoke to Lancer Media about his career. He emphasized his approach as “servant leadership.” 

“Management can be trained.  Management just means you are getting people to fulfill a responsibiilty or complete a task . . . but leadership means you have to have something from within.  As you all look around your classroom. . . I bet you can think of at least two people you can think of who will be great leaders in the future. Because of what you see coming from inside of them–not because of what they are told to do–but because they just do what needs to get done,” he said.

These and many more ideas are examples of Boffman’s leadership style, and journalism students responded well to his inspirational ideas.

“When he said that, I immediately thought of Emily Webb.  She is a great leader.  She is so good at talking with different people, and she has led our class through many issues,” said Josh Todd.

Boffman may have no experience with being a journalist, but  he works with them all the time. He gave advice to students wanting to pursue a job in journalism. “You have to have a backbone to stand up for what is right, even if it may cause some challenges. If you know something is right, the people who stand up for what they believe in and push things in the right direction are the heroes.”

He was the founder of Acela Technologies Incorporated, from 2002 to 2017, and was named Maryland Technology Councils Entrepreneur of the Year for Frederick County in 2005.  He was an early leader in the wireless cell phone industry.  His company made wireless phone service accessible inside large buildlings, like hotels hospitals and large homes.

During his time as an entrpreneur, Boffman served on the FCPS school board. One of the first things he noticed as a board member was the low test scores and was concerned about the achievement gap.  He is proud of the changes he started that have improved FCPS overall.  He said that bringing the most needy students toward better achievements lifts all the students higher.

Throughout his visit, he kept emphasizing the skills all students need for success–not just journalists.  “It’s the people you surround yourself with that help you be successful.  It’s networking,” said Boffman.

From 1984 to 1987, Boffman was in active duty as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He rose to the rank of Captain with Top Secret clearance. From his experiences in the Army, he learned to always be strategic and to stop and think before he made any decision.  He translates that to a good practice for all.

“This is only my opinion, but I think the challenge in our school system today is that were still trying to use techniques from the 1950s to teach children of today.  Technology has changed the way we think.  It has changed our attention spans.  Today, you all require more engagement.  Classrooms are great, but you want to see the working world–once you see that and feel that, you are more engaged and understanding why you are learning.” He believes that is what FCPS is trying to improve. 

Boffman is currently working with his department working on a video to educate students and parents about online bullying and how rumors can impact others. Boffman plans for the videos to come out next few months.

After he talked to the entire class, he worked with the editor team to give them ideas.  They shared with him the progress Lancer Media has made toward Best of SNO.