Hardin seeks school board seat

July 10, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

More workplace experience for students, improved relationships between school officials and other elected officials and close scrutiny of educational programs are some of the priorities of Washington County Board of Education candidate J. Herbert Hardin.

Giving students a chance to work a job for a day allows them to begin deciding early what kinds of careers they want to pursue, said Hardin, 63, former principal of Williamsport High School.

Hardin, of 19727 Meadowbrook Road, Hagerstown, said he saw the advantages of school-to-work programs while he was an educator.

Not only can the experiences inspire youngsters, but students can determine what they don't like, said Hardin.

Hardin said he wants to see improved communication between the school board, the Washington County Commissioners and local lawmakers.

The only time lawmakers hear from the school board is when it wants money, said Hardin.

"There needs to be more social communication. They're all working for the same good," said Hardin.


Other highlights of Hardin's platform:

- eliminate any educational programs that are not resulting in the desired goal.

- study a curriculum audit that identified a number of problems in the school system. The county has made the right decision bringing together 100 members of the community to seek solutions, Hardin said.

- further study the idea of a five-year budget plan for the school system.

- convince the school board not to get too involved in daily activities of schools. The board should concentrate more on policy-making.

Hardin was known as a disciplinarian at Williamsport High and became embroiled in a controversy over a dress code at the school in 1996. More than 50 county students demonstrated against dress codes, saying they violated their rights to freedom of speech and self-expression.

Hardin said the dress code helped maintain discipline and order.

Hardin is one of 16 candidates running for five seats on the school board.

Two of the seats are newly created, and will increase the size of the board from five to seven members.

The 16 candidates will face off in a primary election on Sept. 15, with the top 10 vote-getters vying in the Nov. 3 general election.

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.

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