Two new school board members begin terms

December 06, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Shortly after being sworn in Tuesday as the Washington County Board of Education's newest members, Ruth Anne Callaham and William H. Staley cast their first votes.

They voted in favor of approving the night's business meeting agenda.

It was a slow start for two officials who say they have big plans for their elected seats.

"I know who my boss is now," Callaham said. "It's the children."

Paul W. Bailey also was sworn in during the ceremony Tuesday, marking the start of his third consecutive four-year term on the board.

All three were voted into office during the November general election.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said she expected that the new board would be facing some "difficult decisions," but that it would make those decisions based on the well-being of the county's students.


Staley described himself as a "man of few words," but said that his approach to working on the board will be to take in all of the information before making a decision.

The three board members were sworn in before the start of Tuesday's business meeting.

At the meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve Roxanne R. Ober as president. She replaces W. Edward Forrest, who will remain as a board member.

Forrest said he has served three times as president of the board in six years and was ready for a change.

"I'm ready for a break," he said. "I'm ready to join the ranks of (the members) again."

Ober said she was honored that her fellow board members chose her to lead them.

Wayne D. Ridenour was unanimously approved as the board's new vice president. He replaces former board member Jacqueline B. Fischer, who lost her bid for re-election in November.

Ridenour and Ober said these were their first leadership roles on the board.

Ober said Friday is the deadline for board members to express interest in being on any of the board's five committees: curriculum, facilities, finance, human resources, and policy review and development.

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