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Tom Janus

July 24, 2006

HAGERSTOWN - Tom Janus, 64, of Hagerstown, is making his second bid for a seat on the Washington County Board of Education, focusing on prioritization, cost effectiveness and efficiency.

Janus, who retired in 1999 from Citigroup after 27 years, said he believes the current board needs new leadership.

Janus said that when he ran in the 2004 election he visited many communities, like Boonsboro and Smithsburg, that were in favor of smaller schools, not what Janus has called the "mega-complexes" being built now. Elementary schools like Westfields Elementary School, which will hold up to 745 students, are not cost effective and are not in the best interest of students, Janus said.

The school, which will be build in the Westfields development on Sharpsburg Pike, is expected to cost about $21 million.

There is a better way, Janus said.

He said schools like Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education that have about 270 students in prekindergarten through second grade are more effective.

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"I would like to see 'neighborhood-sized' elementary school buildings of about 200 students," he said.

Janus said Montessori classrooms should be more prevalent in the county.

Janus said student achievement is most important, and money should be used to affect the most students.

"I want to get the most bang for the buck," he said.

Janus has been married to his wife, Marilyn, for 41 years, and their daughter, son and foster son all graduated from Williamsport High School in the 1990s, he said.

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