Candidate says nothing's more important than children's future

December 31, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

The Rev. Blaine Feightner said a call to serve the public and an interest in childrens' futures prompted him to run for a seat on the Washington County Board of Education.

Feightner, 57, of Keedysville, is one of 16 people who filed for four seats up for grabs on the School Board. A primary election will be held March 2, after which eight candidates will advance to the general election, to be held Nov. 2.

"Nothing's more important than the future of our children," Feightner said.

A minister at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Rohrersville and Salem Lutheran Church in Bakersville, Md., Feightner said he read a newspaper article in which a call was made for more School Board candidates. He said he thought, "Why not me?"


He said he thinks the current School Board has done a "good job" and doesn't hear of any controversies that need to be settled.

Feightner said he planned to further investigate the school system.

He said he's not very familiar with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which is designed to close the achievement gap between schools and make sure all students are academically proficient. But, he said, "Government regulations are sometimes a little too demanding in a lot of fields."

As a minister, he said, "We deal with conflict all the time."

Budget cuts are not foreign to him, either, he said.

"I have years of experience in not pleasing people," he said.

In his home state of Indiana and while in Maryland, Feightner had an introduction to the field of education: He worked briefly as a substitute teacher and was the director of Christian education at a church.

But the role of a school board member is a little different, he said.

"I assimilate it to jury duty: Everyone should get involved," Feightner said.

He said he doesn't think there should be a conflict between his religious interests and the prospect of a government role.

"A pastor is a person so I don't think that should matter that much," he said.

Feightner said he's a team player and tries to listen to others.

"You can't fight ignorance until you become informed," he said.

With a daughter and grandchildren who live outside the state, Feightner said he has a deep interest in childrens' futures.

He said the safety of children in school should be a major concern.

"Education is a lifelong process. Trying to prepare young adults for life is a difficult task. Anyone can be a part of that," he said.

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