My priorities for Board of Education

September 03, 2006|by Wayne Kretzer Jr.

At this time, I would like to thank Antietam Cable, The League of Women Voters, Hagerstown Community College and The Herald-Mail Company for holding the forums on Wednesday, Aug. 16, and Thursday, Aug. 17. I also would like to thank the concerned voters who turned out on these nights along with the voters who watched on TV. There were a lot of good issues discussed from all candidates. This goes to show that people really care about their communities. I would also like to address a few concerns.

I would like to be a hands-on person and listen to all concerns from voters, teachers and administrators. I will ask questions so no conclusions are jumped to. I look forward to visiting each school in the county. I want to make Washington County's school system the best in the state and country. We need talks between the BOE, County Commissioners and delegates to ensure that we make the best decisions for all involved.


Problem No. 1: We need to keep the best teachers in this county. That means we need to raise pay, look at work environments, class loads, etc. Overcrowding of schools is a big problem. I do not feel redistricting all the time is the best solution. This county has grown in the last 30 years, but has not built any schools. It was mentioned at the forums that we are the next Frederick County. Frederick County, in the last 10 years, has built two new high schools and one new middle school. I see that we will need to build at least one school eventually. It is just a matter of where.

Problem No. 2: Students today are considered obese. We need to get back to prioritizing fitness and health. Students eat fast food, play video games and watch TV. I have not seen where they are encouraged to promote fitness. We need to bring back the middle school track meet and cross country meets. There also was the President Award for fitness. We need to bring that back. Give encouragement to students who improve their fitness to certain levels. If a child can only do five pushups, then maybe give an award for 20 pushups so he/she has something to shoot for.

Problem No. 3: Safety of students. The busing situations need to be looked at. Traffic around the schools is another concern. We have great people who dedicate their time to be bus drivers and crossing guards. They have very difficult jobs. We also need to work with law enforcement on keeping control at schools.

Problem No. 4: Drugs, violence and teen pregnancy need to be controlled. Teen pregnancy is like the new fad. Girls think it is cool to have a baby and carry the child around, showing him/her off. They know that they won't have to take the responsibility because their parents will help take care of the child. Schools can only do so much. Teen pregnancy is also the responsibility of the parents. School violence is a very real concern. It happens around the country and it could happen here. We have seen schools locked down in the past and unless we get a grip on it, it will continue to happen. What will it take? I am not totally sure, but it is a big concern of mine.

In closing, I would again like to thank the voters for their questions and concerns. I am always available to meet and talk about concerns. Today's students are tomorrow's leaders. Without a proper education, they will not be able to lead properly. That means we need the best teachers to educate them.

We need teachers who show concern for the students and willing to help not only the best students but the ones who need it the most. No Child Left Behind handcuffs our teachers and makes their job harder. A teacher's job is year round and they do a lot away from school. If you have any questions or concerns , feel free to contact me at 301-739-1366 or,

You can also find me at road races in the area.

I am looking to be at the HCC 5k and the Mack Truck 5k on Sept. 9 and 16, respectively.

Wayne Kretzer, Jr. is a candidate for the Washington County School Board.

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