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Williams to run again for board of education

December 30, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

karenh@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Russell F. Williams, one of three retired educators whose term on the Washington County Board of Education is up in 2006, has decided to run again.

Williams submitted paperwork announcing his candidacy on Dec. 12, about seven months ahead of the filing deadline, according to Sherrie Bonebrake, an election administrative assistant for the Washington County Board of Elections.

Jacqueline B. Fischer, the school board's vice president, and board member Paul W. Bailey both said Thursday they have not decided whether they will seek re-election.

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The 2006 primary election is slated for Sept. 12 and the general election is Nov. 7.

"When I originally became a candidate, I said for the sake of stability, I would like to try to be in office for at least eight years," said Williams, who retired a few years ago after teaching elementary school students in the system for 29 years.

Williams, who was seriously injured in a bicycling accident in May, has battled cancer this year, but he said his doctor has cleared him to run again.

Williams said Thursday he believes the school system should carefully evaluate programs and policies before making changes, show respect for support-staff workers and promote opportunities for children of all economic backgrounds.

Without the support of other board members, Williams said one board member alone cannot bring about any changes.

"I want to do all that I can to make sure the poor of this community are not priced out of educational opportunities," said Williams, who is a volunteer coordinator for the Hagerstown cold-weather shelter run by Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless.

The school system should devote the greatest resources to students with the greatest needs, and it should carefully monitor how its money is spent, Williams said.

Besides Williams, no one else has filed to run for the board yet, Bonebrake said.

Fischer said Thursday she might wait until the spring to decide whether to seek re-election.

"Part of it might depend on what other people run," said Fischer, who retired in 2000 after working more than 31 years as an English teacher in the school system.

Bailey said in a message Thursday he has not decided whether he will pursue a third term on the board.

"Haven't made up my mind, yet. I'll probably do that the next several months, but I have nothing right now that is finalized," Bailey said.

The deadline to file as a candidate is 9 p.m. July 3, according to the current election calendar, election clerk Doris James said.

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