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Councilwoman will learn on the job

July 13, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Educator Jacki Stranathan doesn't know much about politics, but as Keedysville's newest councilwoman she intends to learn.

"I plan on doing a lot of listening," Stranathan said.

Stranathan, who will teach eighth grade math at E. Russell Hicks Middle School in the fall, was elected to the Town Council in May as a write-in candidate with 25 votes.

Stranathan, 41, said she didn't campaign or vote in the election because she was out of town.

"I said if it's meant to be it will happen," said Stranathan, who has a degree in sociology from Western Maryland College.

She returned to find out she won.

"I was surprised but I thought maybe I can do something for the town," she said.

Stranathan was raised in Columbia, Md. She, her husband, the Rev. Malcolm Stranathan, and their three children moved to Keedysville from Waldorf, Md., about a year ago. Her husband is pastor of Salem United Methodist Church on South Main Street.

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Her family has moved around a bit with her husband's career but Stranathan said she hopes to stay in Keedysville for eight to 10 years. That will allow her children Brittany, 14, Beth, 11, and Wesley, 6, to finish school and for her to establish her teaching career, which had been put on hold, she said.

Stranathan said she takes walks daily for exercise and to get a feel for the town she calls home.

"I like getting to know the community," she said.

One thing she has noticed is the traffic that flows on Main Street, she said.

"The cars go by so quickly," and there isn't much of a shoulder, she said.

Other residents have complained to her about the traffic and she plans to make that a priority while in office, she said.

Stranathan said she decided to run on the advice of her friend, former Councilwoman Yvonne Hope, owner of the Full Circle Cafe on Main Street.

She met Hope during one of her daily jaunts. Renovations going on at the site of the future Full Circle Cafe caught Stranathan's eye and she "peered through the windows," she said.

Keedysville's charm has captivated Stranathan's family, who moved into a historic home on South Main Street built in 1890, she said.

"People have been very friendly," she said.

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