Board of Education briefs

January 23, 2003

Superintendent presents new awards

Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan on Tuesday presented three awards she developed for school system staff and others who worked hard to improve the county's schools.

The awards were presented during Tuesday's Washington County Board of Education meeting. They are:

  • The Golden Apple Award for a central office staff member, presented to Joy Rath, a 31-year school system employee who helps children in need and homeless children with transportation and other needs.

  • The Golden Apple Award for World Class Supporter of Washington County Schools presented to the Economic Development Commission for working to create the Choices in Colleges and Careers Fair.

  • The Superintendent's Above and Beyond the Call of Duty award, presented to Sherry Spithaler, a Boonsboro Middle School science teacher for taking initiative in setting up a Web site with assignment information and working extra hours to make sure correspondence between students and parents was up to date.

Parents air concerns about school conditions

Ed Patterson, Citizen's Advisory Committee chairman at Pangborn Elementary School, told The Washington County Board of Education Tuesday he and other parents have concerns about environmental conditions at the school.


Patterson said his main concerns are about heat, mold and overcrowding. Teachers collected classroom temperatures for December and found the average temperature was 58 degrees, he said.

"How can we expect our children to be productive?" he said.

He wanted to know what could be done at the school now while it waits to be renovated in the future.

Pangborn Parent Pamela Niessner spoke about concerns she has that her asthmatic child is not safe under moldy conditions.

Commission members present scholarships

Members of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission presented scholarships to schools and students during the Washington County Board of Education's Tuesday meeting.

The awards were for participation in the EDC-sponsored Choices in Colleges and Careers event.

EDC representative Frank P. Erk III presented five $500 scholarships to schools with the highest participation at the November event: Hancock, Williamsport, South Hagerstown, Clear Spring and Boonsboro high schools.

Three high school students received scholarships for writing essays about what they learned at the event:

  • First Place: Whytne Brooks, $500, North Hagerstown High School.

  • Second Place: Jamie Boden, South Hagerstown High School, $300.

  • Third Place: Christina Williamson, Boonsboro High School, $200.

Schools official reports on master plan progress

Shulamit Finkelstein, the Washington County Public Schools executive assistant for strategic planning and community relations, told the Washington County Board of Education Tuesday that central office staff has completed 88 percent of the quarterly benchmarks set in the school system's 2002-2003 master plan.

Laying groundwork for the federal No Child Left Behind and sponsoring teachers for national board certification, a rigorous teaching certification process and the expansion of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs were highlights of the quarter, which ran from October through December, Deputy Superintendent Patricia Abernethy said.

Abernethy asked for feedback on the staff's progress.

School Board member Jacqueline Fischer said, "I commend the staff for the tremendous amount they've done."

She encouraged people to log on to the school system's Web site,, and check out the Master Plan.

Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said the central office staff is working on a draft of the 2004-2005 master plan.

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