16 file for School Board

December 23, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

Sixteen people, including four incumbents, have filed to run for four seats on the Washington County Board of Education in the 2004 election.

The turnout is in contrast to the 2002 election, when three people filed to run for three open school board seats.

The last time 16 people filed for a school board primary was 1998, said Doris James, a clerk with the Washington County Board of Elections.


Four school board seats, held by President W. Edward Forrest, Vice President Roxanne R. Ober, Bernadette M. Wagner and W. Princeton Young, are up for grabs. All four filed to run for re-election.

Former school board member B. Marie Byers said "hallelujah" when told of the number of people who filed.

"I think that's a very healthy number," she said.

Byers said she thinks people were shocked at how few people filed for the 2002 election, and she said that may have motivated people to file this time.

"I think there was an awakening," she said.

Byers was the chairwoman of a seven-member screening panel that last winter sent to Gov. Robert Ehrlich three names of people suggested to fill a vacancy on the board created when Doris J. Nipps left the school board to take office as a Washington County Commissioner.

Young was appointed as a result of their recommendations and Byers said she was pleased that he decided to run in this election. She said that Young had told the panel that he would run this year. She said he is the only person on the list of those who filed who was among the five people the panel interviewed in March. She said others interviewed indicated that they would run this year.

Following is a list of those who have filed:

  • Forrest, 40, of 20437 Old Forge Road in Hagerstown.

  • Ober, 44, of 13227 Postrider Court in Hagerstown.

  • Wagner, 46, of 13010 Sturbridge Court in Hagerstown.

  • Young, 56, of 17817 Greentree Terrace in Hagerstown.

  • Thomas G. Berry, 71, of 20314 Park Hall Road in Rohrersville.

  • The Rev. Blaine Feightner, 57, of 5424 Hollow Tree Lane in Keedysville.

  • Richard Bruce Grassby, 68, of 14248 Cearfoss Pike in Hagerstown.

  • Barry C. Harbaugh, 44, of 11841 Ashton Road in Hagerstown.

  • Connie L. Jantz, 39, of 1229 Weverton Road in Knoxville.

  • Tom Janus, 61, of 10029 Pleasant View Drive in Hagerstown.

  • Elizabeth Lay, 45, of 10914 Dam No. 5 Road in Clear Spring.

  • Gary Nally, 46, of 10607 Hershey Drive in Williamsport.

  • Wayne David Ridenour, 52, of 16833 Tammany Manor Road in Williamsport.

  • George William Sonnik III, 57, of 14241 Falling Waters Road in Williamsport.

  • Teresa A. Spruill, 45, of 24744 Raven Rock Road in Smithsburg.

  • William H. Staley, 59, of 16302 Shinham Road in Hagerstown.

The primary election will be March 2 and the general election will be Nov. 2, Dorothy Kaetzel, the county Board of Elections supervisor, has said.

School board member candidates cross-file. The top eight votegetters in the primary election will move on to the general election.

New school board members will take office the first Tuesday of December 2004. School board members make $4,800 a year and the school board president makes $4,900 a year.

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