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Nipps seeking re-election

June 24, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

Doris J. Nipps' interest in local schools started when her twin sons entered Old Forge Elementary school.

She joined the school's Parent Teacher Association to find out what her children were learning, and her involvement never stopped.

As her sons Scott and Tom advanced through the grades, Nipps joined PTAs and Citizen Advisory Councils at the schools her sons attended.

In 1994, Nipps was elected to the Washington County Board of Education.

"It's been interesting. I have to say it's been a little different than I envisioned," said Nipps, who has filed to run for a second term.

She said she is seeking re-election because she wants to follow through on unfinished business.

Nipps said she is interested in serving alongside Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr., who she said has impressed her in his first seven months in office.

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Nipps said she likes the way Bartlett has rallied the support of local businesses to expand school and business partnerships.

Since Bartlett's arrival, nearly 100 business leaders, school officials and parents have agreed to help the system put together a strategic plan to address problems identified in a recent curriculum audit.

Nipps said the reaction she has received from the community about Bartlett has been positive.

"I've heard from them and they say they like Dr. Bartlett's direct approach," Nipps said.

"I really believe in the direction we are going. I think you'll see a big change," she said.

Some of the issues that have concerned Nipps are class sizes and equal access to quality instruction. In particular, Nipps has questioned whether students are getting the same instruction in advanced placement classes from school to school.

Nipps said she has found that instruction is not always equal and the board and Bartlett are working to resolve the problem.

To measure the effectiveness and fairness of its classes, the school system has started its own high school assessment test, Nipps said. The state, too, has been devising a high school test.

"The state is moving so slow on those things. We felt we needed to do something sooner," said Nipps, who lives in the Leitersburg area with her husband Jim.

The top three vote-getters in the general election will serve four-year terms and the next two highest vote-getters will serve two-year terms.

Nipps is one of six candidates running for five seats on the Board of Education. After this election, a school board member will make $4,800 a year, and the board president will make $4,900.

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