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Candidate seeks teamwork

January 13, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

After serving on various Washington County Board of Education committees, Gary Nally has decided to seek election to the school board.

Nally, 45, a lifelong Williamsport resident, is an independent engineering consultant.

He has a daughter in first grade at Williamsport Elementary School and a son in fourth grade in the magnet program at Emma K. Doub Elementary School.

His wife is a teacher at Conococheague Elementary School.

He said he has been involved in the school system since his son started public school, and has found the work interesting and challenging.

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The work matches his skills and he thinks he can help improve the schools, not just for his family but for the whole district, he said.

Nally is one 15 people seeking one of four seats coming open on the school board. A primary election will be held March 2, and eight of the candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 2.

Nally said he is involved with Williamsport Elementary School's Citizens Advisory Council and was its chairman from 2000-02. He has been a member of the school system's Citizens Advisory Council since 2000 and its chair since 2001. He also is a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Committee, Public Relations Advisory Committee and the Web Oversight Committee, in addition to doing other work for the school system and Williamsport Elementary, he said.

In February 2003, he was appointed by the local delegation to the Maryland General Assembly to serve on a committee that screened and recommended candidates to fill a school board seat that opened when school board member Doris J. Nipps was elected a Washington County Commissioner.

Nally said he is one of the most informed candidates about the issues affecting the school system.

If elected, he would work to get the school system the money it needs to improve, he said.

The school system has seven schools that are more than 50 years old, with no air conditioning and no safety sprinkler systems, Nally said.

Asked to describe the relationship between the Washington County Commissioners, the Board of Education and the local delegation to the Maryland General Assembly, he said it is "one-sided."

The school board takes proposals to the county, such as the school board's request last year that it be given authority to issue its own bonds to get additional construction money, and it does not seem to get much response or feedback from the county or the delegation, he said.

"Those elected bodies need to work constructively together to seek positive resolutions and that is not occurring," Nally said.

In a three-page statement explaining why he is running, Nally said: "The residents and companies within Washington County need to step up and advocate that the children of Washington County receive the quality education they so richly deserve."

His hobbies include running, racquetball, weightlifting, biking and coaching his children in different sports.

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