Price's principle - 'Do it right'

July 18, 1997

Former Washington County elementary school principal William R. "Bill" Price realized he was not living by his own principle: "If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it well - and do it right."

For that reason, in April, he resigned as president of the Washington County Retired Teachers Association so he could give the church his full attention.

"I felt I did not have enough time to give that group the leadership it needed," said Price, who turns 61 on Monday. "Maybe one day ... ."

In the association, Price was president-elect from July 1994 to July 1996. From July 1996 to April 1997 he was the group's president.


The retired teachers association strives to improve lives of teachers and others concerned with Washington County education. It has more than 500 members.

Price is still a member, but he said the presidency was too demanding.

And he knows about demanding jobs, because he was a principal at seven Washington County elementary schools between 1961 and 1994. He served at Conococheague, Dargan, Downsville, Hancock, Pangborn, Williamsport and Clear Spring elementary schools.

Price was named Maryland National Distinguished Principal in 1992.

He retired in June 1994 after 33 years with Washington County schools.

A successful principal, he said, is "able to work with a variety of students, parents and staff - and knows how to pull the best out of them."

Some things have changed since the early years, some bad, some good.

"When I first started, child abuse or neglect was very seldom heard of," Price said. That's not the case anymore, he said.

He also said that special-needs children have better opportunities in the classroom nowadays.

Price, who earned a bachelor's degree in education at Shepherd College and a master's degree in education at Shippensburg University, said he admired Reginald Bailey, his fifth-grade teacher and principal at Funkstown Elementary School.

"He was the first male teacher I had," Price said. "He involved you in everything. It was hands on - projects, murals - not just book work. It was one of my things too - to get kids involved in their school work."

Since 1994, Price, a confessed "people person," has worked as the parish administrator at Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph Ave. in Hagerstown.

"Combine being an administrator in the school system with being a very fine church man, and the job is right up his alley," said Trinity's senior pastor, David M. Buchenroth, 44.

"It's all dealing with people," said Price, a Trinity member since age 16. "People feel an allegiance to their school. People feel the same way about their church - even a little stronger. And there is a dedicated staff here, just like the teachers are dedicated."

Monday through Friday, 8:30 to noon, Price works in his office in the church's lower level, composing the Trinity Messenger newsletter, scheduling repairs and completing other office duties.

"It's a fun job, with fun people to work with," said Price.

The feeling is mutual.

"He's always been a friendly, outgoing person - upbeat," said Julie Hammond, church bookkeeper.

"He's a real asset to the staff," agreed Sue Keller, church office secretary.

Bill Price and his wife, Jean, 60, live on Woodside Drive. They have four children, Karen Davis, 34, of Salisbury, Md.; Krista Repp, 30, of Mercersburg, Pa.; Heidi Harshman, 27 of Waynesboro, Pa.; and James Price, 24, of Hagerstown.

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