Incumbent Fischer loses bid to remain on Board of Education

November 08, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - One Washington County Board of Education member appears to have been ousted in Tuesday's general election.

Incumbent Jacqueline B. Fischer, 60, of Clear Spring, served one four-year term on the board. She received 12,447 votes, according to complete but unofficial results.

She was the fourth-highest vote-getter with 15.2 percent of the vote.

"I'm obviously disappointed," Fischer said after learning the results.

Two new board members were elected, and one incumbent was re-elected.

There were 4,037 absentee ballots issued; as of Tuesday, 3,550 had been returned. Those ballots will be counted Thursday.

Paul W. Bailey, 72, of Hagerstown, was the second-highest vote-getter with 16,044 votes (19.59 percent), according to complete but unofficial results.

He has served two four-year terms on the Board of Education and has worked in education for about 46 years.

"I have to be pleased with the results, and I certainly commend those who were participants in the race," Bailey said.


Bailey was a science and math teacher in Washington County before becoming a counselor and a principal. He served as director of middle schools in the county and retired in 1997.

Ruth Anne Callaham, 57, of Hagerstown, was the top vote-getter with 16,903 votes (20.64 percent), according to complete but unofficial results.

"It's been a good day," Callaham said late Tuesday. "I'm pleased that people in the county have so far selected me."

She has been an educator for 30 years and has held teaching certificates in three states, including Maryland.

Since 2003, Callaham has served as executive director of the local nonprofit Food Resources, a food collection and distribution program.

William H. Staley, 62, of Hagerstown, is also a newcomer to the board. He received 14,896 votes (18.19 percent), according to complete but unofficial results.

He taught subjects like welding for 25 years for Washington County Public Schools before retiring about six years ago. He also taught at Hagerstown's community college for 30 years.

"I think I'm very happy with the results," Staley said. "We just have to see if my ideas can be presented to the rest of the board, and we'll have to go from there. It will take a while to convince other members that I do have some ideas that we can apply. I'll wait to see how they accept them."

Wayne Kretzer Jr. received 12.6 percent of the vote and Virginia Powers received 13.56 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

The salary for newly elected board members will be $5,600 annually, up $800 from the previously elected board members' salaries, Board President W. Edward Forrest has said.

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