PTA Members from across the Country Gather at 2014 Convention

Formerly an educator with the Howard County Public School System in Maryland, Synthia Shilling currently works as an attorney based in the Washington, DC area. Outside of her professional pursuits, Synthia Shilling is active in several organizations, including the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

The National PTA recently held its 2014 National Convention and Exhibition at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. The four-day event, which was held June 19-22, featured a range of education sessions and a number of prominent speakers, including Arne Duncan, the United States secretary of education.

Topics explored at the event included public relations, board management, leadership development, and membership growth, among many others. Conference attendees were also given the opportunity to expand their understanding of several national school-based initiatives, including MADD’s Power of Parents and Power of Youth program.

The 2015 National PTA Convention and Exhibition is scheduled to be held June 26-28 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Program in Maryland

Previously an attorney with Prince George’s County, Maryland, Synthia Shilling joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as legal counsel in 2013. Synthia Shilling focuses on employment law and possesses a wealth of knowledge regarding Maryland’s equal employment opportunity program.

The equal employment opportunity program in the state of Maryland prohibits employment discrimination of individuals based on race, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, and age. In addition, it protects individuals with physical or mental disabilities. The regulation applies to people who are current employees of a business as well as applicants seeking employment with a company. As such, the law ensures all individuals are given a fair opportunity to gain and fulfill employment based on merit and fitness.

Individuals who know or feel an employer has acted out of accordance of the equal employment opportunity laws must file a complaint within 30 days of the violation. Upon receiving the complaint, an equal employment officer will conduct an investigation under the direction of a fair practices officer. Based on the findings, the head of the principal unit will provide a written decision with the appropriate relief, if any.

For more information about Maryland equal employment opportunity laws, visit