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Lowery wants increased communication on school issues

January 11, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Longtime state employee and Halfway resident Margaret Ann Lowery has filed to run for a seat on the Washington County Board of Education.

Lowery, 60, who lives on Hickory School Road, retired in 2007 and said she is seeking a seat on the board to become more involved in her community. Lowery says she wants to be a leader who advocates on behalf of students.

Lowery filed Friday to run in the 2008 election ? a nine-way race for four open seats. A primary election will be held Feb. 12.

She retired this year from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene after more than 16 years working for the state in different youth-related jobs, including some time with the Maryland State Department of Education.

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Her most recent job was teaching for a year at Catoctin Summit Adolescent Program, a school for students with substance abuse problems.

Lowery says she wants to be part of a team that helps students, teachers, parents and the community.

"I believe that what occurs in all of the county schools increases the overall quality of everyone's lives," she said.

She also said she believes that information should be shared with the community about issues involving Washington County Public Schools. More information should have been shared with the community about the circumstances involving a recent incident involving a kindergarten student being dropped off at the wrong bus stop, Lowery said.

Sharing information also would include details about how taxpayer money is being spent, she said. Lowery said she looks forward to being involved in budget discussions to make sure that money is being spent wisely.

She also will advocate for an atmosphere of truth and trust among board members and between board members and the community.

Lowery said she is interested in being involved in planning for magnet programs and for the future of those type of programs in the county's schools.

"I think you have to understand the whole big picture before you can decide to move a magnet program," she said. "Perhaps we could look at adding more magnet programs."

Lowery is an active member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Hagerstown. Her husband, Kenneth J. Lowery, who died in 1996, was a vice principal at a school in Allegany County, and Lowery says he would be proud that she has decided to run for a seat on the local Board of Education.

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