Callaham says her skills would be a good fit for school board

May 17, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD


Ruth Anne Callaham, a Hagerstown woman who ran unsuccessfully for Hagerstown City Council in 2005, filed Monday for a seat on the Washington County Board of Education.

Callaham, 56, a Republican, is running for one of three seats that will be open on the School Board.

Russell F. Williams, a Democrat, is the only other person to file for a School Board seat this year.

Seats on the School Board are nonpartisan. A primary election will be Sept. 12 if seven or more people file for the three openings, said Kaye Robucci, county Board of Elections election deputy director.

Callaham was raised in San Antonio and born to a military family. When her husband took a job at Fort Ritchie in 1977, she moved to Hagerstown.


Since 2003, Callaham has served as executive director of the local nonprofit Food Resources, a food collection and distribution program. She worked with the federal government for 23 years and has been an educator for 30 years, holding teaching certificates in three states, including Maryland.

"I am passionate about every child achieving their full potential," Callaham said. "I bring an understanding and a high level of energy well-focused on the issues at hand."

She has taught at several local colleges, most recently at Hagerstown Community College.

Callaham said her perspective as a businesswoman and an educator will be a good match with the needs of the school board.

"It's going to take someone (who) can energize people and get them moving, and that's what I can do," she said.

In the Hagerstown City Council race, Callaham did not receive enough votes in the March 2005 primary to advance to the general election. She ran on a slate with five other Republican candidates.

Richard F. Trump, a member of the slate, was the only member to advance. He was elected mayor, but resigned Feb. 1, citing irreconcilable differences with the all-Democratic, five-member council. Robert E. Bruchey II later was appointed mayor by the City Council.

The deadline to file for open positions through the Washington County Board of Elections is July 3. The general election is Nov. 7.

Staff writer Erin Cunningham contributed to this story.

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