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Incumbent loses in Jefferson board election

May 12, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Former Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Jud Romine won and incumbent Doris Cline was defeated in the races for two seats on the Jefferson County Board of Education Tuesday night, according to final, unofficial results.

Cline came in third behind Alan Sturm.

With all 29 precincts reporting, Romine had 4,219 votes and Sturm had 2,933 votes. Cline finished with 2,780 votes.

George Ganak had 1,725 votes and Leigh Koonce had 1,655 votes.

Board of Education members are paid $160 per meeting. Board members can be paid for no more than 50 meetings a year. The term of office is four years.

Romine, 62, of 41 Captain Baird Court, Charles Town, said the most important issue facing the school system is getting a second high school built. Romine said he was concerned about teacher pay and is worried teachers will seek employment elsewhere.

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Sturm, 63, of 457 Berridge Drive, Shepherdstown, said although there are a number of critical issues facing the school system, a common thread in all of them is population growth.

The apparent lack of planning by the Board of Education and failure by county government to impose adequate regulation and control has resulted in massive overcrowding, Sturm said.

As a result, it appears curriculum and academics have taken a back seat, he said.

Cline, 75, of 504 S. Church St., Charles Town, said one of the most critical issues facing the board is retaining teachers. It's a difficult issue given the fact teachers can drive only 30 minutes away for a higher-paying teaching job, Cline said.

Ganak, 55, of 128 Runnymede Road, Charles Town, said his priority would be following through with a well-planned building program to provide the necessary classroom space for students. Ganak said he is concerned that there is not enough space at Jefferson High School for additional foreign language classes or advanced classes.

Koonce, 20, of 82 Koonce Road, Halltown, said the most important issue facing the school system is the students. The Board of Education needs to ensure that each student receives a quality education and a safe and respectful learning environment. Koonce said he also supported giving teachers "locality pay," which is pay adjusted to certain areas to keep up with the cost of living in that area.

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