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Lawmakers mull School Board vacancy options

December 11, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Washington County lawmakers have recommended that an independent screening committee help fill a vacancy on the Board of Education.

Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who will ultimately make the appointment, will announce the process when it's been finalized, said his spokeswoman, Shareese DeLeaver.

There is nothing in the law that dictates the process for filling the vacancy, which was created when School Board member Doris Nipps was elected to the Washington County Commissioners.

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Delegation Chairman Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said he met with Del. Christopher B. Shank and Sen. Donald F. Munson to find a way to make Ehrlich's job easier.

Lawmakers did not want the suggestions to come from the Republican Central Committee because the School Board is a nonpartisan group.

Under the lawmakers' proposal, a screening committee would recommend several choices to Ehrlich based on criteria set by the Washington County Board of Education.

Whoever is selected would fill the remaining two years of Nipps' term.

"It, to a great extent, takes the politics completely out of it and assures that qualified names go to the governor," McKee said.

McKee said if the process works well lawmakers may pursue putting it into state law.

McKee said he has heard from a half dozen people who are interested in the job.

Washington County Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said she has received two resums.

Staff writer Pepper Ballard contributed to this story.

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