New deputy clerk to help bridge language barrier

December 28, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County government is turning a sensitive ear to the Hispanic population.

Jefferson County Clerk Jennifer Maghan, whose office handles items such as voter registration, marriage certificates and land records, said she often sees language barrier problems in helping Spanish-speaking patrons who come to the office.

As a result, Maghan said she decided to hire a deputy clerk who could speak Spanish and assist Hispanic patrons.

Enter Maria Pagano.

Pagano said she applied for the job after her husband told her about a newspaper ad announcing the new position.

Pagano interviewed with Maghan for the job and was offered the position about four days later.

Maghan said state regulations do not require she hire Spanish-speaking workers.

Maghan said she hired Pagano in hopes of filling a need in the community.

"That's why we were so happy we could hire her," Maghan said Tuesday.


Pagano was born in Peru and worked at jobs in the banking and legal fields there.

In 1999, Pagano came to the United States to be with her sister and mother, who live in the area.

Pagano initially moved to New Jersey, then to Virginia. She and her husband then relocated to Jefferson County and found a home in Briar Run Estates along Flowing Springs Road north of Charles Town.

Pagano said she has been working for the Lansdowne, Va.-based Prison Fellowship, which offers mentoring programs to children whose parents are serving time in prison. The mentoring programs involve helping the children with their homework, Pagano said.

Pagano said she will work for Prison Fellowship until the end of the month and will start working at the county clerk's office Jan. 3.

Pagano said she is anxious to learn about her new duties, including helping people register to vote.

Maghan said one of the reasons she wanted to hire a person like Pagano was to help bolster the number of Hispanic voters.

"It's really, really interesting to learn and to help," Pagano said.

Pagano said her husband, Luis, is in charge of record keeping at a law firm in Tysons Corner, Va., and two of the couple's children attend Jefferson County Schools.

Asistencia para los residentes de habla hispana

Necesita ayuda con su inscripcin para votar, certificado de matrimonio, historial de su propiedad y otros servicios que ofrece la oficina del Condado de Jefferson? A partir del 3 de enero, Mara Pagano de nacionalidad Peruana estar alli para ayudar con estos servicios a los residentes de habla hispana en las oficinas de la Corte del Condado de Jefferson, ubicadas en la esquina de las calles George y Washington en la ciudad de Charles Town.

Para ms informacin sirvase llamar al telfono 304-728-3215.

Assistance for Spanish-speaking residents

Need help with voter registration, marriage certificates, land records and other things handled by the Jefferson County Clerk's office? Starting Jan. 3, Maria Pagano will be there to help.

Pagano, a native of Peru, will be available to assist Spanish-speaking residents with those tasks in the County Clerk's office in the Jefferson County Courthouse, at the corner of George and Washington streets in Charles Town, W.Va.

For more information, call 304-728-3215 after Jan. 3.

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