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Retired school administrators offer picks for political offices

November 04, 2006|by Gerald G. Holmes

The Washington County Retired School Administrators are endorsing and supporting candidates for the Board of Education of Washington County and County Commissioners in the 2006 General Election.

As an association, we are committed to quality public education in Washington County. To achieve that goal, we need quality individuals who possess the personal and professional skills to be effective members of a school board that has school system oversight and accompanying responsibility to the citizens of Washington County.

We also see the County Commissioners as an equal partner in providing quality public education. The Board of County Commissioners is responsible for providing the financial support which is the resource that drives the educational process.

The Retired School Administrators are endorsing three candidates for the Board of Education. We are endorsing Paul Bailey, Ruth Callaham and Jacqueline Fischer. These three candidates have strong educational backgrounds. Paul Bailey has served eight years as a school board member and Jacqueline Fischer has served four years. Both members have served the school system as career educators. Ruth Callaham, a first-time candidate, performed well in the candidate forums. She demonstrated an understanding of the issues and provided some refreshing ideas for improving the educational process.

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For the County Commissioners, the Retired School Administration are endorsing and supporting five candidates. We are endorsing Kristin Aleshire, John Barr, Herbert Hardin, James Kercheval and Paul Swartz. This slate of candidates offers experiences and expertise in local government, business and public education.

Kristin Aleshire, as a current City Councilman, has acquired a reputation as a well qualified Councilman who is very much committed to his official duties as well as his professional career as a town manager.

John Barr, a successful businessman, is recognized in the community for his involvement in charitable work and serving as a member of the Economic Development Commission. He will be a leader in county economic development and will seek businesses that provide quality jobs.

Herbert Hardin, a former school board member and county educator is eager to return to public service. As a school board member for four years, he was considered a member who was fully dedicated to his work. During his years on the school board, he learned the limitations of the school system because of insufficient funding.

James Kercheval, a current County Commissioner, is commended for his commitment of time and work in doing his official duties. He has elected to be a full-time commissioner by spending his week days at the county office. In the candidate forums, he demonstrated his knowledge and understanding of the county's most complex issues.

Candidate Paul Swartz, a former County Commissioner and public school educator, is very much committed to public service. He has been a strong supporter of public education and supports expanding the educational opportunities for Washington County high school graduates. He also believes that the success of economic development depends on an educated work force.

The Retired School Administrators acknowledge the progress that was made by the majority of the County Commissioners in the last four years, especially in the area of increased funding. Over the last four years, progress has been made in increasing teacher salaries. However, the new group of County Commissioners in concert with the Board of Education will need to re-visit the problems of teacher shortage, the loss of experienced teachers, repairs for existing schools and the need for school construction in the densely populated areas.

Hopefully, this election will provide the county with competent and committed leadership on the Board of Education and the County Commissioners.

We urge you to join us in voting for these candidates on Nov. 7, 2006.

Washington County Retired School Administrators
Gerald G. Holmes, chairman
Steering Committee

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