School Board briefs

June 07, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

Miller remembered at start of meeting

An administrator who died earlier this week was "an outgoing person and liked and beloved by many people in the school system," Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said, as she and the Washington County Board of Education remembered Patrick Lynn Miller.

As he does before each of the board's regular meetings, President W. Edward Forrest began Tuesday's meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. He asked that people remember Miller during the moment of silence.

The school system's supervisor of technology and library media services for the past three years, Miller died Sunday from injuries he sustained in a car crash Thursday.

According to Morgan, Miller loved music and reading, and he often supplied her with CDs of new music he thought she would like.


"Lynn served the school system in a superior fashion for many years," Morgan said.

Boonsboro teacher receives ABCD Award

According to her principal, Boonsboro Middle School teacher Peggy Walsh goes above and beyond the call of duty everyday.

On Tuesday, Walsh was awarded for her efforts.

The Washington County Board of Education recognized Walsh with an ABCD Award - the letters stand for "above and beyond the call of duty" - at the start of the regular meeting.

According to Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan, who read from a nomination letter submitted by Principal Renee Foose, Walsh attended Tuesday's meeting believing she was on hand to make a presentation to the board. Walsh is the school's "technology guru" and yearbook adviser, and she is active in professional development workshops, Morgan said.

"She never complains and is perpetually upbeat," Morgan said, reading from the nomination letter.

Tech High junior gets Golden Apple Award

A Washington County Technical High School student who performed the Heimlich maneuver to help a choking classmate earned the Board of Education's Golden Apple Award Tuesday.

The board recognized Vance Almy for his actions as a junior this April, when he performed the Heimlich maneuver on another student who was choking in the cafeteria line. Vance will be eligible to receive his EMT certification soon, according to information provided to the board.

Discipline task force presents its findings

According to a task force charged with studying school discipline, Washington County Public Schools should develop clear, consistent guidelines for behavior that would apply to students throughout the system.

Washington County Teachers Association President Claude Sasse requested the Board of Education again consider setting aside money to tackle discipline problems in the system. During a presentation Tuesday on the findings of the School Discipline Task Force, he requested $300,000.

The school system should develop discipline guidelines, help school staff choose which programs or parts of programs would most help them deal with student behavior, schedule professional development for staff and expand alternative offerings for students with behavioral difficulties, said Michael D. Markoe, director of student services/special education.

The school system is considering a behavioral support program for elementary school children, and it should set up more small-size, structured alternatives for children who have behavioral problems, Markoe told the board.

Substitute teacher policy revisions OK'd

Mandatory yearly orientations, background checks and fingerprinting could be among the new requirements for people interested in substitute teaching for Washington County Public Schools.

The Board of Education accepted the changes, as well as other revisions, to its policy on substitute teachers during Tuesday's meeting. For the changes to go into effect, the board must vote on the policy on its second reading at a future meeting.

Board accepts bid for new greenhouse

Despite a bid costing more than $20,000 over initial projections, hopes for a new greenhouse at Marshall Street School could come to fruition this fall.

The Washington County Board of Education accepted a bid of $95,600 from GRC General Contractor Inc. of Zullinger, Pa., to build a greenhouse at the school this summer. Initial projections for the work put the cost at $73,000, according to material provided to the board.

Additional money for the project will come from the school system's operating budget, said Michael Peplinski, supervisor of operations and maintenance. Boyd Michael, who officially becomes assistant superintendent for school operations July 1, said school staff might be able to use equipment from a previous greenhouse, but if they need new tools, the board will be asked for more money.

With just a few months to go before the start of a new school year, Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said staff already are planning to use the new greenhouse by the fall, "whatever it takes."

Repair, renovation bids are accepted

Bids ranging from $24,100 for painting at Cascade Elementary School to $680,300 boiler plant improvements at Smithsburg High School are among the projects kicking off the Washington County Public Schools' summer of repairs and renovations.

The Board of Education unanimously approved a slate of bids Tuesday totaling more than $2.4 million. The eight projects approved include asbestos abatement and lighting improvements at Williamsport High School and a chiller replacement at Smithsburg Middle School.

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