Panel picks School Board finalists

March 24, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich will chose a Hagerstown business owner, a retired civil servant or an assistant prison warden to fill a vacancy on the Washington County Board of Education.

A local screening panel has recommended John Barr, Spence Perry and W. Princeton Young for the job, Washington County lawmakers said Friday.

Ehrlich has no timetable for deciding which of the three will serve as the seventh School Board member, said his spokesman, Henry Fawell.


Delegation Chairman Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said he will encourage the governor's office to act swiftly.

The seat has been vacant since December, when former board member Doris I. Nipps was sworn in as a Washington County Commissioner.

The nominees are:

  • John F. Barr, 49, of Clear Spring. Barr owns Ellsworth Electric Inc. in Hagerstown. Last fall, Barr chaired the successful delegate campaign of his brother-in-law, Republican LeRoy E. Myers Jr.

    Barr, a graduate of Boonsboro High School, said Friday he could provide continuity between the business community and the Board of Education.

    "I think I could work well with the County Commissioners. I know them all personally."

  • Spence Perry, 61, of Hagers-town. Perry, who is retired, led a Management Review Team that recommended ways the School Board could improve.

    "It was kind of total immersion therapy in some respects," Perry said.

    Perry said it would be an interesting and challenging time to serve on the School Board because regulations are increasing at the same time budgets are shrinking.

    Perry, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and a law degree from Duke University, worked for the federal government for 28 years. He worked as general counsel for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, oversaw the National Flood Insurance Program for the Federal Insurance Administration and was a Navy judge during the Vietnam War.

  • W. Princeton Young, 55, of Hagerstown. Young is assistant warden at the Maryland Correctional Training Center and works part-time as a therapist.

    Young helped start a mentoring program at the Alternative School.

    "I have worked with children for a long time as a therapist. I feel I have some things I could contribute," he said.

    A graduate of North Hagerstown High School and Hagerstown Community College, Young earned a bachelor's degree in human services and urban planning from the University of Maryland-University College and a master's degree in community counseling and gerontology from Hood College.

    He attends Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Hagerstown.

Ten people applied for the School Board vacancy and a screening panel narrowed the field to three.

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