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Sharpsburg resident files for Board of Education

January 11, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

It has been 16 years since Meredith Fouche's name appeared on a ballot. The Sharpsburg resident said personal obligations kept him out of the political arena for nearly two decades, but on (Oct. 30) he was the first to enter the race for the Washington County Board of Education.

Fouche, 56, said his experience and his advocacy on behalf of the children of Washington County make him a good candidate.

"I care about children and children's education, and I have had that care for at least 28 years," he said.

Fouche ran for a seat on the Board of Education in 1988, but did not make it past the primary. He ran again in 1992 as a write-in candidate, but was not elected. He ran in 1990 for Washington County Commissioner, but withdrew before the election.

"I think I have something to offer," he said.

Fouche said that he has spoken with parents and has heard many say that their children's creativity has been sacrificed for the county's focus on academics. He said that core subjects are being pushed at the expense of the well-rounded child.

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Fouche said he'd like to see volunteers from the community enter schools and teach photography or chess, offering students something more than math and science.

If elected, Fouche said he would work to find a site for a new high school that is needed east of Hagerstown. He'd also like to adopt a program similar to one he has heard of in Frederick County, Md., for school bus drivers.

He said drivers need a manifest of the students who ride their buses so that children do not board the wrong bus and can make it home safely. Fouche said he began thinking about ways to improve student transportation after learning about a recent incident at Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education that led a kindergartner to board the wrong bus and be dropped off two miles from home.

Building an Antietam Academy that houses middle school and high school students instead of splitting the grade levels between two campuses also is a priority for Fouche. The Board of Education has said that is a priority, and board members have been discussing options with Washington County Commissioners.

Fouche said he is against a suggestion by Wagner that Boonsboro Elementary School's magnet program be moved to Rockland Woods Elementary.

"You don't try to fill a school just by moving a magnet program," he said.

Fouche said he is intelligent, rational and unemotional, all of which are important qualifications for a school board member.

He is a 1969 graduate of Boonsboro High School, and both of his sons graduated from the school. He works for Federal Express Smart Post in Martinsburg, W.Va., and has been involved in committees and task forces at Pleasant Valley Elementary School and Boonsboro High School. He also served on a redistricting task force in 2001, along with other school groups.

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