Six pursuing spots on Greencastle school board

October 31, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Six candidates are running for five seats on the Greencastle-Antrim School Board in the Nov. 8 election. Four of the seats will be for four years; the other will be for two years.

When school board member Jill Patterson moved out of the area, Daniel Fisher was appointed to her seat. The seat will be up again in the 2007 election with a regular four-year term, according to Jean Byers, deputy chief clerk in the Franklin County Commissioners office.

Fisher is the only incumbent running for election to the nine-member-school board.

The race is one of the few in which candidates may cross-file in the spring primary. Because there is a Democratic governor in office, the top vote-getters on the Democratic side are listed first on the November ballot, Byers said. All six candidates are Republicans and all but one cross-filed in the primary.


School board members are not paid.

The candidates are:

- Daniel Fisher, 49, 2135 Castlegreen Drive, is president of D.L. Martin Co. in Mercersburg, Pa. Although this is his first time running for school board, he has served Jill Patterson's unexpired term. "I like it," he said.

"Greencastle-Antrim has some wonderful things going on. There's a lot of energy. I want to continue being a part of that team. There are big issues coming up in the next couple years. The Greencastle community has 6,100 (housing) units on the drawing board. That could double our population in the next eight to 10 years. How to pay for the infrastructure, the schools, the roads, the water that will be needed" will be an issue.

School Superintendent P. Duff Rearick will retire in spring 2007, Fisher added, and "that's a huge issue. Teacher contract negotiations start spring 2007. I'd like to be a part of (these decisions). I think I can help with them."

- Patricia Fridgen, 50, of 576 Shannon Drive North, said she is "the average citizen of our district, the average taxpayer. I'm involved in the schools, and I see the effects of (school board) policies on the students. I want to make the board more accessible to the public, to make it easier for the public to bring concerns to the board and to feel welcome attending the meetings." She is a stay-at-home mother of five who is making her first foray into politics.

- Charles McClain, 47, 4225 Fletcher Drive, is the director of the Regional Printing Institute and a teacher at James Rumsey Technical Institute in Hedgesville, W. Va. In his first run for office, McClain said he wants to take an active role to keep the educational system as excellent as it is.

"Greencastle is dealing with unbelievable growth, due in large part to our school system. Growth creates challenges, and I want to help with those."

McClain said that he has both upper-management experience and classroom experience. "And I know how to listen and communicate effectively."

- Teresa Rainey, 35, of 2250 Castlegreen Drive, is a stay-at-home mother of five. "I want to be on the board because I think I can do the job," she said. "I'd like to see the school get more up to date with technology, and to be proactive as they address the growth that is happening in our community. That's going to be a major impact on our schools in the next five years. I would take the job seriously and wouldn't miss any meetings. It's important for all of us that the schools be good." Rainey has a degree in physics.

- Michael Shindle, 41, 4439 Williamson Road, works in the Penn State Mont Alto maintenance department. He said he has served and is serving on numerous boards and associations, including the local baseball association. He ran the Greencastle Little League and is president of the Greencastle-Antrim High School Wrestling Booster club. "I have a good background in school construction," he added, "and I think I know what local people want."

- G. William Thorne, 53, of 168 S. Washington St., a local dentist, is running for the first time. "I have the experience to do a good job," he said. "I've been a high school track coach, I've worked with youth, and I run a business, so I'm used to budgets and finances."

Shindle and Rainey also are running for the two-year seat.

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