Ellicott City Restaurateur Makes Run for School Board

Owen Hanratty said he hopes to increase financial literacy in schools and to increase engagement on the community level.


By day, Owen Hanratty manages Cacao Lane Restaurant in Ellicott City, but come this fall, Hanratty is looking to be elected to the Howard County School Board.

Hoping to increase financial literacy in schools and increase engagement on the community level, Hanratty, 36, of Ellicott City, said he believes he’s the ideal candidate for the position.

Hanratty said he regularly attends county government and school meetings and became interested in running for the board after he didn’t agree with how surplus dollars were being used in the school system.

“I don’t agree with things,” he said. “I think I generally like [the school board]. I really want to do it.”

Before Hanratty can take a post on the school board, he has to compete with a crowded field of 13 candidates all vying for three slots. The election primary is set for April 3.

Hanratty is single with no children, but said he has been actively engaged in community and Howard County for years. He said he believes he can relate and engage parents and students within the school system.

“I do go to meetings. This is my theater,” he said. “I’m not technically vested, but I do participate in county events. I understand [the issues] and I can talk [about them].”

Hanratty attended the University of Maryland, College Park graduating with a degree in economics before working as a pension accountant and auditor for the International Union of Operating Engineers Headquarters in Washington, D.C. His financial background, he said, makes him want to push for more financial literacy classes in county middle and high schools.

“It’s amazing to me that people don’t understand [finances],” he said.

Hanratty also said he’d like to streamline meetings within the school system so that citizens can more easily access information and stay informed about the issues. He said his flexible schedule could give him the time these issues need.

“I certainly have a freer schedule,” he said. “I like to work. I think I am a workaholic.” 

For more information about Hanratty visit his candidate website


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