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Wilfong runs for school board

July 02, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

Business owner Mary Wilfong has joined the field of candidates running for a seat on the Washington County Board of Education.

Wilfong, one of eight candidates to file for the office, said friends often suggested that she run for the school board.

Wilfong said she believes she now has the time to devote to the job.

She joined PTAs and citizen advisory committees at local schools her three children attended. She also joined band boosters and orchestra boosters.

"Whatever there was to do, I helped," said Wilfong.

Wilfong and her husband, Dharl, have operated Martin's Fine Furniture on Longmeadow Road for 19 years. They also own Ethan Allen Home Interiors of Frederick, Md.

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Wilfong said she is running for the school board because she wants to make sure students have the skills they need to enter the work force.

Sometimes it's not only academic skills, but also personal skills such as punctuality, that students need help honing, said Wilfong.

A strong work ethic used to be taught at home, but the responsibility is falling on the schools, she said.

Wilfong said she believes it is important for teachers to recognize that not all students have the same interests. Learning styles also differ among students, and instructors need to recognize that "rather than making them fit into a mold," said Wilfong.

Wilfong said she if elected, she would like to:

-- Address the "critical issue" of teacher pay. Teacher salaries in Washington County are lower than those in many other counties.

-- Make school meaningful for students at risk of dropping out.

- Support music in elementary schools.

- Make sure there is a clear job description for the school board.

If more than 10 people file for the school board, a primary election will be held Sept. 15, with the top 10 vote-getters vying for five open seats in the general election on Nov. 3. The deadline for filing to run is July 6.

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, and the president will make $4,900 a year.

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