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County welcomes new teachers

August 20, 1999

New Teachers for countyBy BRUCE HAMILTON / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




Angela Mounger spent about six months teaching in Fairfax County Schools before heading to Hagerstown.

"Working in a large school district in Northern Virginia- the whole time you were there you felt like a number," the special education teacher said. "It's really nice to see a community that remembers you by name."

Mounger, of Kingsport, Tenn., will start the new school year at Western Heights Middle School. She is one of 134 new teachers hired so far this year by the Washington County Board of Education.

"I'm very happy to be in Washington County," she told the crowd at a luncheon reception Thursday in Hagerstown Community College's Athletic and Recreation Community Center.

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The Greater Hagerstown Committee sponsored the event to welcome the county's newest educators. "We do this to emphasize the importance of education," said James D. Latimer, chairman of the committee.

Local business, education and political leaders stood in the lobby along with a crowd of teachers sampling sandwiches, punch and hors d'oeuvres. Booths displayed information about local organizations and companies.

Teachers gave different reasons for taking jobs in Washington County. Some said it was nearby and a few said they have family in the area. Others echoed Mounger's remarks, praising the school system.

"The amount of resources that you have here and the quality of people you have here, it's amazing," said Charles "Nick" Mowen. Although he graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in theater in 1986, Mowen got his master's degree last spring.

His wife, Carol, has been a Springfield Middle School teacher for four years. Mowen, a Greencastle, Pa., native, will become a counselor at Western Heights.

Last year, Washington County had hired 138 teachers by October 1998. The School Board has hired 134 new teachers this season, according to Supervisor of Human Resources and Teacher Personnel Donna Newcomer-Coble.

There are six vacancies in four areas: special education, math, chemistry and guidance. Of those, 76 have no experience. The new hires include 56 in elementary schools, 38 in middle schools and 40 in high schools.

Christy Beale will teach fourth grade at Salem Avenue Elementary School. The Warfordsburg, Pa., native said she came to Washington County because the school system is collaborative and progressive.

"All the things that I heard are supposed to happen in schools are happening here," she said.

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