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Humphreys seeking re-election

January 05, 2000|By BRUCE HAMILTON

Andrew R. Humphreys stands on his 1996 campaign platform because his goals for the school system remain mostly the same.

Humphreys, 44, is running for re-election to the Washington County Board of Education. When he ran three years ago, he described a vision for the system that included a nine-point plan.

Balancing resources for all schools, engaging the community, achieving equity and building stronger business partnerships were among the nine goals.

The system has progressed in each of those areas, Humphreys said. "We have accomplished a lot together, my colleagues, the community and the school system," he said.

"I guess that's the primary reason I'm running again, is for us to continue along that same path of progress."

Public education has changed over the years, according to Humphreys. The current School Board helped lay a foundation for the future, but the foundation isn't yet solid, he said.

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Humphreys lives in Halfway with his wife, Bonnie, and their four children. They moved in 1991 from Montgomery County, where he had worked for Maryland National Bank.

He graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in political science. "But I didn't intend to become a politician," he said. The Tennessee native concentrated on public administration and administrative law in college.

On April 1, 1993, he founded ARH Diversified, a private company that primarily helps small businesses grow. Humphreys said he provides development, marketing, management and administrative services.

As a parent, he said, he feels close to the pulse of the school system. His children are enrolled at each of its levels.

Angie, 16, goes to South Hagerstown High School. Anthony, 11, attends E. Russell Hicks Middle School. Jennifer, 10, and Jonathan, 6, go to Emma K. Doub Elementary School.

"It always amazes me what my kids will come home and tell me," he said. "That definitely gives me some insights."

Three years on the School Board also have given him a deeper understanding of education, he said. "There's an awful lot you don't know when you come in," he said.

The board made the administration stronger and made the system better by using more comprehensive planning, he said. The strategic plan is an example of that, but it is an evolving document, Humphreys said.

He has several more goals for a second term, among them a comprehensive approach to remediation and staff development, including support personnel. He wants to make teachers' salaries more competitive at all levels of the pay scale.

The system will become more efficient with the use of the strategic plan, he said.

"Once it is completely engaged, I believe we're going to see the resources we have utilized in the most efficient ways," he said.

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