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School Board vacancy is filled

May 31, 2003|By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Gov. Robert Ehrlich on Friday appointed William Princeton Young to serve on the Washington County Board of Education.

Young, 56, will fill the seat vacated by Doris J. Nipps, who was elected a County Commissioner in November 2002. Young is the first black member of the School Board.

His term will run through November 2006.

The Hagerstown native said his top goals include promoting cultural diversity training among teachers and increasing parental involvement in the schools.

Young, an assistant warden at Maryland Correctional Training Center, has taught cultural diversity programs for the last 11 years for the Department of Public Safety, he said.

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He said he also hopes he can help the school system better handle student disciplinary and social problems.

"I think the teachers need to be armed with better skills in dealing with a lot of so-called problem students," Young said in a telephone interview Friday.

"A lot of teachers really aren't trained to deal with these issues. I think some of these issues have to be dealt with in order to make successful students."

At Maryland Correctional Training Center, Young supervises department heads and manages the budget and purchases. He also is a therapist at the Washington County Mental Health Center, working with children and adolescents.

"Bill Young has earned a strong reputation in his community as a compassionate advocate for Maryland's youth," Ehrlich said in a written statement. "He shares in my commitment to provide every child with a first-class education, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods."

Young graduated from North Hagerstown High School and received an associate's degree from Hagerstown Junior College. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park with a double major in behavioral and social sciences and urban planning.

He also holds a master's degree in community counseling and gerontology from Hood College.

He attends Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Hagerstown.

Young and has four stepchildren and a wife, Shelby. His great-grandmother, Matti Norris, was superintendent of the former Colored Schools in Washington County.

"I am sure that Mr. Young's experiences running educational programs at the penitentiary will add value to our Board of Education," Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said by telephone Friday afternoon. "I am looking forward to working with him."

Young said he was notified by the state May 17, his birthday, that he would be appointed to the post. The official word went out on Friday.

Ten people applied for the position and a local screening panel narrowed the field to Young; Spence Perry, a retired civil servant; and John Barr, a Hagerstown business owner.

Young said he is expecting a call next week from the governor's office to set up a time for his swearing-in ceremony.

"I am pleased that Mr. Young has been appointed to the Board of Education," School Board President Bernadette Wagner said in a written statement. "Given his experiences and history with the Washington County community, his presence will bring a needed dimension to the Board's deliberations and an additional voice for the county's children to the table."

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