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Board cuts positions, moves personnel to save millions

May 21, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said the Washington County Board of Education hopes to save about $2 million by cutting some central office staff positions, consolidating some teaching positions and cutting back on the number of new teachers to be hired.

The School Board voted 5-0 to approve staff changes Tuesday night at its business meeting. School Board member Edward Forrest was absent.

Morgan said two positions have been cut from the staff development office, but wouldn't say which positions they were.

Eugene "Yogi" Martin, the school system's supervisor of health, physical education and athletics, and Edward Lee Weaver, supervisor of fine arts, both are retiring and their positions have been consolidated into one position. That job will be filled by someone who has been hired from Montgomery County, Morgan said.

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Boyd Michael, the school system's executive director of secondary education, said one position was cut from the Information Technology Department and one position was cut from Career Technology Education.

The School Board approved its $144.5 million budget for fiscal year 2004 last week. The board will receive about $74.7 million from Washington County, $4.3 million less than it requested.

Morgan said that loss, coupled with a $691,591 loss in state funds due to the elimination of the Governor's Teacher Salary Challenge program, have made it difficult to make budget decisions, especially in light of the federal No Child Left Behind act.

The federal act is designed to close the achievement gap between schools and to make sure all students, including disadvantaged groups, are academically proficient.

Morgan said the School Board also cut back on the number of buses it would replace and on new teaching positions.

For example, she said, only four of the eight schools that were expected to have all-day kindergarten next year will have the teaching staff to implement the program.

"We just can't afford it," she said.

She said the assistant principal position at Hancock Middle/Senior High School was cut. Morgan said the media specialist jobs at Clear Spring Middle School and Clear Spring High School were consolidated because of the schools' proximity to one another.

The Washington County Board of Education approved the following staff changes:

  • Moved Robert Hovermale, formerly an instructional improvement teacher at the central office, to the post of coordinator of visual and performing arts programs at the central office.

  • Hired G.C. Edward Masood, who has worked for 37 years in Montgomery County in a similar capacity, for the job of supervisor of athletics, health, physical and arts education.

  • Named Peggy A. Pugh, who had been a language arts teacher at Western Heights Middle School, to the assistant principal position at Eastern Elementary School.

  • Named Elizabeth R. Donohoe, who has worked as a classroom teacher in North Carolina and Colorado, to the post of supervisor of advanced programs.

    School Board Member Roxanne R. Ober said that position was in the budget and has remained unfilled.

  • Hired Neal Case, who was an assistant principal at an Arizona school, to be principal at Boonsboro Middle School.

  • Reappointed Cheryl G. Lannon, who was assistant principal at Eastern Elementary School, to assistant principal at Eastern Elementary School.

  • Named Kerry L. Rowe, who was an assistant principal at Eastern Elementary School, to be principal of Hancock Elementary School.

  • Named Donna Newcomer-Coble, current principal at Hancock Elementary School, to be principal at Fountaindale School for the Arts and Academic Excellence.

  • Changed the title of Robert C. Brown's job from supervisor of testing and accountability to coordinator of testing and accountability.

    Washington County Public Schools Director of Human Resources Donald Francis said Brown's position was renamed because he doesn't have anyone to supervise.

  • Named William R. Vogtman, who is the assessment and data analyst at South Hagerstown High School, to the job of assessment and data analyst at the central office.

  • Named Gary F. Sturniolo, who is the assessment and data analyst at the central office, as a math teacher at South Hagerstown High School.

  • Named Elizabeth Little, who is supervisor of elementary education math and science, as the gifted and talented teacher for fifth grade at Fountaindale School for the Arts and Academic Excellence.

    Morgan said Little's former position will be posted and has not been cut.

  • Shifted a number of teachers between Emma K. Doub School for the Arts and Integrated Technology and The Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education to place them with the grades in which they currently teach. Funkstown will serve grades pre-kindergarten through second and Emma K. Doub will serve grades three through five.


"We've probably got another three to four weeks of this before it wraps up," Francis said.

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