Ober says she'll push for more education money

October 21, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles on Washington County Board of Education candidates.

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Roxanne Ober, Washington County Board of Education vice president, said the most difficult part of her job on the board is also one of the most important: Working to ensure the school system gets adequate funding.

If re-elected to the board, she will continue pushing for more education funding, she said.

The financial need is especially great now as the school system addresses new and anticipated enrollment growth, she said.

There also are an increasing number of state and federal mandates for school systems to address, she said.

"A lot of the control has been taken out of the local school systems. The challenge is how the local school systems respond to the state and federal mandates," she said.

Ober, 44, of Hagerstown, is one of 16 people who filed for four open seats on the School Board. The eight candidates with the most votes in the March 2 primary - one of whom was Ober - appear on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.


Ober said she is running for office because "I want to continue with improving student achievement in the county."

People should vote for her because the board has had a good four years and she thinks the members, working together, could continue to achieve a great deal, she said.

"We started the books and we need to continue writing the chapters," she said. "I am a good listener. I am a consensus builder. I can work with a diverse group of people," she said.

Her favorite part of her job as a board member is visiting the schools and seeing the interaction between teachers and students, especially when students learn something new, she said.

"I am very proud and honored to be part of the school system. I am so proud that there are so many people who are dedicated to our students. It is easy to be part of the system because of the dedication and pride of employees," she said.

Ober originally ran for the board in 2000 because she wanted to make improvements to the school system, particularly giving more educational choices to students.

As in 2000, Ober is running on a slate with board member Bernadette M. Wagner. They have common goals and opinions, Ober said.

"We did not want to run against each other but we feel it is very economical to combine our resources and run as a slate," Ober said.

Ober and her family moved to Hagerstown from Laurel, Md. in 1995. She described herself as a "stay-at-home mom."

Before moving, she worked for the Children's Hospital Foundation in Washington D.C., where she did cost benefit analysis, fundraising and oversaw the foundation's finances.

Ober and her husband, Brooke, have three children, ages 9, 11 and 13, in the county's schools.

Roxanne Ober is involved in her children's Parent Teacher Associations, St. Ann's Catholic Church and Boy Scouts.

Coming Friday: Wayne Ridenour

If re-elected to the Washington County Board of Education, Roxanne Ober said she would:

· Work to get salaries raised for teachers who have worked for the school system for more than 15 years.

· Work to find funding for capital improvements in the school system, including looking at whether the transfer and excise tax rate can be increased to help pay those costs.

· Try to find ways to avoid putting teachers in portable classrooms or without a permanent classroom of their own.

· Help to ensure the school system is ready to meet state and federal mandates from the High School Assessment act and the No Child Left Behind Act.

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