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Reading must remain a priority, Hayes says

December 27, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

Incumbent Edwin Hayes wants the Washington County schools to continue to focus on the fundamentals.

Hayes says the School Board needs to concentrate on ways to improve area students' reading abilities.

"I want them (schools) to stay instructionally focused on reading," Hayes said.

He is one of eight candidates vying for four spots on the board. The deadline for filing for candidacy expired Monday evening.

If elected to another term on the Washington County Board of Education, Hayes, 46, said he will continue his efforts to promote the district's reading program to ensure the goal of placing reading specialists in Washington County schools comes to fruition.

Hayes runs his family's 200-acre beef and grain farm in southern Washington County and is a self-employed agricultural consultant.

He lives north of Downsville on Downsville Pike with his wife, Suzanne, and daughter Lindsey, 11, and son Daniel, 9.

Lindsey Hayes attends Springfield Middle School in Williamsport, and Daniel is a student at Fountain Rock Elementary on Lappans Road.

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Hayes said he will devote his energy to working with the Washington County Commissioners to secure greater funding for schools and teachers.

"We have to make schools their priority," he said of the Washington County Commissioners.

Area teachers are now at "the bottom of the barrel" when it comes to salaries, Hayes said, and there needs to be an increase.

Hayes, who has served as School Board president, said his years of experience as a board member should give him an edge over other candidates.

"I have an understanding of the school district's needs and will work toward specific goals," he said.

Hayes first ran for school board in 1988 and was defeated. Again in 1994 he did not garner enough votes, but in 1996 he was elected.

School board members receive $4,800 annually. The president gets $100 more.

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