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Grove running for school board seat

January 28, 1998

Grove running for school board seat

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Tom Grove had intended to run for the West Virginia House of Delegates, but moving put him on the wrong side of the street.

Grove, 33, a Republican, filed Monday to run for a seat on the Berkeley County Board of Education.

Co-publisher with his father of the Mill Creek Peddler, Grove ran against Del. Vicki Douglas, D-Berkeley, for the 52nd District seat two years ago.

Grove moved after the 1996 election, however, and the side of Thompson Street on which he lives is in the district of Del. John Overington, R-Berkeley, whose seat is not up for grabs in the upcoming election.

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Grove instead will challenge incumbents Berniece Collis, Bill Sonnik and Todd Beckwith for three open seats on the Board of Education in the May 12 primary.

Board of Education elections are nonpartisan and the top three vote-getters will be elected in the primary.

"The primary issue is a basic foundation is the most important part of an education," Grove said Tuesday. While the board recently approved new graduation requirements aimed at preparing students for the workplace, he said education needs to refocus on the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic.

Grove said he supports school choice, vouchers and home-schooling, although all of his five children are in public schools.

He said he would like to see the amount of money spent per pupil in West Virginia reflected in the students' performance. The U.S. Navy veteran said statistics from two years ago showed West Virginia ranked 17th in per-pupil spending in the nation and 37th in scholastic performance.

In another countywide race, a Falling Waters, W.Va., truck driver is challenging Berkeley County Clerk John W. Small Jr. in the May 12 primary election.

Robert Preston Ziegler, 30, a Republican, filed notice of his candidacy Friday. It will be his first bid for public office, according to his wife.

Small has been the county clerk since he was appointed to the post in 1971, after the death of E.C. Dunham. Prior to holding his current position, Small was the chief deputy clerk for 15 years.

The county clerk is the recorder of deeds, births, deaths, marriages, hunting and fishing licenses and voter registration. The clerk is also the chief financial officer for the county, Small said.

"I would like to see the office fully computerized," Small said Tuesday.

The Berkeley County Commission earlier this month approved funding for the county and circuit court offices at the urging of Small and Circuit Clerk Virginia Sine.

Ziegler, a 1986 graduate of Hedgesville High School, is a truck driver with Bonded Carriers of Martinsburg. He is married and has two children.

The last day to file for the primary is Feb. 5.

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