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Hockensmith seeking Board of Education seat

July 22, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

Ricky A. Hockensmith said he decided to run for the Washington County Board of Education because he wants a say in how education will be offered in the county, especially in light of a recent curriculum audit.

The audit released last year showed a wide range of problems in the school system, including shortcomings in curriculum development, infrequent use of computers and fragmented staff development.

Hockensmith described the school system as being on the "cutting edge" with its release of the audit.

"It was a very important step," said Hockensmith, 45, of 9808 Wandering Lane, Hagerstown.

Hockensmith said he also wants the board to avoid getting overly involved at the school level, letting administrators do their jobs instead.

Hockensmith also favors:




HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Evaluation of teacher performance.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Better communication between the school board, the Washington County Commissioners and the Washington County Teachers Association.

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HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Instrumental music in elementary schools.

Hockensmith said a position on the school board may be a "springboard" to another elected office, but he did not say what.

"I'm kind of gregarious and outgoing," Hockensmith said.

Hockensmith is a risk management administrator for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which oversees agencies such as the Division of Correction and the Division of Parole and Probation.

Hockensmith's job is to prevent work-related injuries and to help people deal with work accidents. His office is in Baltimore, but is being moved to Hagerstown.

He also has worked as a safety manager at the State Highway Administration and as an engineer for Baltimore Gas and Electric. He served in the U.S. Navy.

Hockensmith, a father of six, grew up in the area but left in 1971. He moved back in 1996.

Hockensmith is among 16 people in the school board race. Two seats are newly created, and will increase the size of the board from five to seven members.

The 16 candidates will face off in the Sept. 15 primary, with the top 10 vote-getters vying for the five seats 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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