Duties of school board are the focus of forum

May 19, 2006|by KAREN HANNA


With the deadline to file a few weeks away, candidates and prospective candidates for the Washington County Board of Education might not know all that they are getting into, President W. Edward Forrest said.

"It's pretty complex, and until you have it really spelled out to you, you don't understand it," Forrest said.

Anyone interested in what the board does can learn more about the board's roles and responsibilities at a free informational forum for candidates and prospective candidates June 14 at 6 p.m. at the Board of Education auditorium at 820 Commonwealth Ave.

A representative of the Maryland Association for Boards of Education will conduct the forum, said Shulamit Finkelstein, Washington County Public Schools executive assistant for strategic planning, board and community relations. The forum is one of the services - including new board member orientation - that the association provides to all school systems in the state, she said.


At the forum, candidates and prospective candidates can learn what they can and cannot do as board members, Finkelstein said.

"It's also to educate the community on what it is to be a board member. There's a lot of misconceptions out there," Finkelstein said.

The deadline to file for one of three seats on the board is July 3.

Seats on the 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.

Since joining the board in December 2002, Vice President Jacqueline B. Fischer said she has learned a lot. Fischer, a retired English teacher, is one of the board members whose seats are up for election.

"Even though I had taught for 32 years, there were many aspects of the board I didn't have a clue (about)," Fischer said.

New board members and candidates often do not know how much work and reading they face when they first join, Finkelstein said.

"It's really, truly a demanding job. You really have to love it to do it," she said.

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