Cunningham files for Board of Education

June 24, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

A former high school counselor is seeking a seat on the Washington County Board of Education, bringing the number of candidates to five.

William "Ross" Cunningham, 62, said his 30 years of working as a counselor in Boonsboro, Smithsburg, Clear Spring and Hancock high schools give him an understanding of what is needed in the school system.

Cunningham said he wants to instill in students the belief that education is a life-long experience.

Cunningham said he wants to establish more after-school homework programs for students. He said there is a homework club at Fountaindale Elementary School, where his wife Karen teaches, and it has been effective in sparking student interest in school.

Teachers are involved in the Fountaindale Elementary program, but Cunningham said he would like to find a way to get more parents involved in helping their children with classes.


Cunningham said he also wants to make sure students are taking enough math and science courses to remain competitive.

He would like to see more partnerships between schools and businesses to help schools get the resources they need for effective technology programs.

Cunningham said he is satisfied with the way the Washington County Commissioners have funded the school system, "but there is a limited amount of resources out there."

He said he also wants:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> To make sure students are reaching their fullest potential.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> More programs that introduce students to the world of work.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> To promote employees within the system as much as possible.

Cunningham said he supports increasing annual step salary increases for teachers. But he stressed that he will consider issues based on what is best for students.

"If elected, I pledge that will be my overriding philosophy," said Cunningham, who lives at 1016 Oak Hill Ave. in Hagerstown.

State figures show the county lags behind many other counties - and ranks last in some instances - in the salaries it pays to teachers in the beginnning and middle years of service.

The deadline for filing for the Board of Education race is July 6.

If more than 10 people file for the school board, a primary election will be held on Sept. 15, with the top 10 vote-getters vying for the five seats in the general election on Nov. 3.

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.

After this election, a school board member will make $4,800 a year. The board president will make $4,900 a year.

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